Also, while Rowling always had Rickman in mind for the role of Snape, the studio’s first choice was Tim Roth. It found that the best performances had a combination of good tone, speed, frequency, words per minute and intonation — and Mr Rickman came out first. His mother struggled to raise her children while they lived in housing west of Wormwood Scrubs Prison. “There was an inevitability about my being an actor since about the age of 7, but there were other roads that had to be traveled first,” he later said. Her new book, The Blue, is a spy story set in the 18th-century porcelain world. Those people that scored highly on the test did so largely because of vocal traits that were associated with positive characteristics, the authors said at the time. And the performer of several iconic film villains, he was a warm and supportive mentor and generous friend to his fellow actors. After hearing of his passing, people gathered at Platform Nine-And-Three-Quarters in Kings Cross Station to leave flower and momentos. It is so convincing because it really happened. Luckily however Roth chose to do Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes instead and Rickman was cast as Snape, a role we now can’t consider anyone else playing. However, director John McTiernan, going for total authenticity, had him dropped on the count of two, producing a truly shocked look from Rickman captured perfectly in that dramatic sequence. Alan Rickman is a voice actor known for voicing Marvin, Joe the Pilot Fish, and Blue Caterpillar. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Alan Rickman played many roles on stage, winning a Tony Award as Le Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons, until his film breakthrough as the ruthless Hans Gruber in Die Hard in 1988, which was actually his first feature film role. Most iconic Alan Rickman scenes: Harry Potter; Die Hard; and more. In fact she had told him Snape’s destiny before having written it herself. And again, serendipitous circumstances gave Rickman a role we can’t imagine anyone else playing. His roles cross the spectrum of hero and villain, all with that trademark Rickman sophistication and biting wit. The British actor, who has died at the age of 69, was revealed as having the perfect voice in a study that produced an algorithm to identify the ideal characteristics. But what many people don’t know is that JK Rowling told Rickman the truth about Snape’s character before anyone else knew. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. The 2008 study asked people to rate 50 voices and then looked at the results. Without his portrayal of Alexander Dane, the film wouldn’t be successful, said actor Sam Rockwell in an interview. Actor Sam Neill was first approached to play the role but refused. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. Another nugget of trivia is that Rickman was really dropped during his iconic last moments of Die Hard. "The emotional responses panellists had to the voices were surprising and go some way to explaining how voiceover artists or radio DJs are selected, or why particular celebrity voices appeal. Other voices that came out on top included Mariella Frostrup and Dame Judi Dench. She wanted Rickman to know Snape’s ultimate purpose to give him that extra edge and knowledge about his role. While attending Chelsea College of Art and Design in 1965, 19-year-old Rickman met Rima Horton, who was 18 at the time. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. Take a visual walk through his career and see 5 images of the characters he's voiced and listen to 2 clips that showcase his performances. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. He was utterly distinctive, with a voice that could suggest honey or a hidden stiletto blade. As director John McTiernan of Die Hard wrote, “For a guy who played probably the best bad guys of our generation, he was such a gentle man.”. The two remained together for the next 50 years and finally got married in 2012 in a private ceremony in New York. The deal was that he would be dropped from 25 feet on the count of three. Alan Rickman was a unique talent who has devoted fans both young and old. Rickman created a sensation as the sophisticated, well-tailored Gruber who sneered about the “benefits of a classical education” as he masterminded a murderous corporate mega-theft. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. Rickman followed Die Hard with a scene-stealing Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1991, cementing his place as an A-list actor. At age 26, after holding various jobs, Rickman applied to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. One of Rickman’s trademarks is that unmistakable voice. Rickman said in a later interview that his early years were poor but happy, until his father died of lung cancer when Alan was just eight years old. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. For some fans, his defining role was as the cold, harsh Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series. Director/actor Alan Rickman speaks onstage at the 'A Little Chaos' premiere introduction during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 13, 2014 in Toronto, Canada, Alan Rickman had the most perfect voice, according to science, Read more Tributes pour in for Alan Rickman who has died aged 69, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. Rickman used this to give Snape that peculiar “I know something you don’t know” look and feel so central to the character. While Rickman was an actor, Horton was an economics lecturer at Kensington University. For more information, go to, Join 1000s of subscribers and receive the best Vintage News in your mailbox for FREE, Police arrest a 72-year-old “suburban grandfather” suspected of being the Golden State Killer, “I’m not dead yet”: some Buddhist monks followed self-mummification, Project Azorian: Howard Hughes’ secret mission, 1960s U.S. satellite that started transmitting again in 2013, The “Walk of Shame” in Game of Thrones historical inspiration, The only unsolved skyjacking case in U.S. history might have a break, Kurt Gödel became too paranoid to eat and died of starvation, “Little Ease”: One of the most feared torture devices in the Tower of London, The humble English girl who became Cora Pearl, Walt Disney softened the original Snow White story.