Actor Alan Rickman, known for his roles in Die Hard and Harry Potter, has been celebrated with a Google Doodle.
The Google Doodle, which features a drawing of Rickman by Artist Helene Leroux, marks the 36th anniversary of one of his first leading theatre performances which was described as “instrumental in launching his career”.
The English actor, who died in 2016 aged 69, opened his Broadway performance as anti-hero Le Vicomte de Valmont in a production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses on April 30, 1987.
Leroux said for her it was a “privilege to honour” Rickman’s life and career in the Google Doodle image – which shows him raising his eyebrows and surrounded by leaves.
Harry Potter, Die Hard, Love Actually—Alan Rickman worked his magic in every role he took on.
Learn more about the beloved English actor in today’s #GoogleDoodle → https://t.co/SNOVdyc7NM pic.twitter.com/p6xbaPZSWq
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) April 30, 2023
She added: “I wanted to illustrate Alan’s passion for creativity – represented in the soft watercolours of the background in reference to some of Alan’s most beautiful artwork.
“Following his death, Alan’s popular autobiographical diaries also captured the nation’s attention; these candid and entertaining reflections are represented by the fine, fountain-pen like scratches layered on a background resembling white lined paper.
“The branches either side of the Doodle are also inspired by his diary scribbles. His diverting on-screen performances have no doubt left a unique and lasting imprint on British culture, and I am thrilled that it lives on via my doodle today.”
Alan Rickman's career
In October 2022, Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickman Diaries was released, giving readers an intimate look at his life and career.
The book has this year been shortlisted for a prize at The British Book Awards.
Born on February 21, 1946 in West London, Rickman graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company and having a breakthrough role in the 1982 BBC adaption of Anthony Trollope’s Barchester Chronicles.
Rickman also had theatre roles in The Tempest and Love’s Labour’s Lost before earning a Tony nomination as Valmont in a 1987 New York production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) – based on the French novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.
He was then cast as German criminal mastermind Hans Gruber in the popular 1988 action film Die Hard.
Four years after that movie, he won a Bafta for best supporting actor for Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, where he once more played an antagonist as the Sheriff of Nottingham.
That same year he was also nominated for a leading role Bafta for Truly, Madly, Deeply in which he starred alongside actress Juliet Stevenson.
In 1995, Rickman was once again Bafta-nominated for the Jane Austen period drama Sense And Sensibility and 1996 biographical flick Michael Collins, before taking on the role of Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin.
The following year he appeared in the 1996 period drama Rasputin: Dark Servant Of Destiny, playing the role of Grigori Rasputin.
The role earned him both an Emmy and Golden Globe Award.
In 2001, Rickman landed arguably his best-known role as the Hogwarts potions master Severus Snape in Harry Potter At The Philosopher’s Stone.
To be fair to Snape, we'd also avoid duelling with McGonagall pic.twitter.com/sOtGD1YUfL
— Harry Potter (@harrypotter) April 27, 2023
He would go on to star in all eight of the Harry Potter films, set in JK Rowling’s Wizarding World.
Ms Leroux said: “(Rickman’s) unique and moving performance as Severus Snape touched the lives of so many, and he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest actors of his time, not only in the UK but across the globe.
“Alan brought Snape’s discerning personality to life on screen with his especially expressive brow, emphasised in the centre with a moving image.”
Rickman also featured in other movies such as Love Actually (2003) and the 2007 musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Rickman’s last film roles included 2014 period drama A Little Chaos and 2015 thriller Eye In The Sky.