Photo of Alan Rickman Alan Rickman

Born to Irish and Welsh parents in London on Feb. 21, 1946, Alan Rickman aspired to a career in graphic design and attended the Royal College of Art before winning an acting scholarship at age 26 to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

After years of stage work, Rickman made his American film debut in 1988 as the villainous Hans Gruber opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard. Adept at playing "the heavy" in movies, Rickman has gone on to etch memorable roles in Quigley Down Under, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and the Harry Potter films.

The classically trained actor can also play comedy -- most memorably as Kevin Kline's eccentric painter friend in The January Man.

Alan Rickman in Alice Through the Looking Glass

Alice Through the Looking Glass

2016 PG

In this trippy sequel to the 2010 blockbuster "Alice in Wonderland," young Alice returns from several years at sea and again passes through to the magical landscape, where she ends up journeying into the past to try to save the Mad Hatter.

  • Alan Rickman in Eye in the Sky Eye in the Sky
  • Alan Rickman in Alice in Wonderland Alice in Wonderland
  • Alan Rickman in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Pt I Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Pt I
  • Alan Rickman in Lee Daniels' The Butler Lee Daniels' The Butler
  • Alan Rickman in Harry Potter the Deathly Hallows: Part II Harry Potter the Deathly Hallows: Part II
  • Alan Rickman in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Alan Rickman in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Alan Rickman in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Alan Rickman in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Alan Rickman in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Alan Rickman in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Alan Rickman in Love Actually Love Actually
  • Alan Rickman in A Little Chaos A Little Chaos
  • Alan Rickman in Sense and Sensibility Sense and Sensibility
  • Alan Rickman in Bottle Shock Bottle Shock
  • Alan Rickman in Die Hard Die Hard
  • Alan Rickman in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Alan Rickman in Therese Raquin Therese Raquin
  • Alan Rickman in Michael Collins Michael Collins
  • Alan Rickman in Galaxy Quest Galaxy Quest
  • Alan Rickman in Quigley Down Under Quigley Down Under
  • Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  • Alan Rickman in Something the Lord Made Something the Lord Made
  • Alan Rickman in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
  • Alan Rickman in Sweeney Todd Sweeney Todd
  • Alan Rickman in Gambit Gambit
  • Alan Rickman in A Promise A Promise
  • Alan Rickman in Close My Eyes Close My Eyes
  • Alan Rickman in Nobel Son Nobel Son
  • Alan Rickman in The Wildest Dream The Wildest Dream
  • Alan Rickman in The Song of Lunch The Song of Lunch
  • Alan Rickman in The Barchester Chronicles The Barchester Chronicles
  • Alan Rickman in Beckett on Film Beckett on Film
  • Alan Rickman in Unforgivable Blackness Unforgivable Blackness
  • Alan Rickman in CBGB CBGB
  • Alan Rickman in Shakespeare Tragedies: Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare Tragedies: Romeo and Juliet
  • Alan Rickman in An Awfully Big Adventure An Awfully Big Adventure
  • Alan Rickman in The Search for John Gissing The Search for John Gissing