Alan Rickman's passing and what it means to me.
Thursday, the 14th started off as any other typical day. That was until I checked my phone and instantly felt my heart drop when I saw in a group text that actor Alan Rickman had died. Double checking, I couldn't believe my eyes. It seemed as if cancer had claimed yet another victim. This past week all ready has been a hard one. Between the passing of Angus Scrimm from the Phantasm series, and David Bowie (who also passed away from cancer and at the same age.) It seemed as if 2016 was truly starting off with a bang and not in the right way.
I had this talk several times with friends. How strange it feels loosing artists, some of which we've never met but impacted our life's while growing up. Let it be reading their books, listening to their music, or watching their movies. For fans of film, these actors are a huge part of our life's, even playing a major part in our childhoods. There has been a few deaths in the media which have stunned me, but very rarely does one affect me as much as Rickman's have. In fact the last time I really did cry over a celebrity passing was John Ritter back when I was in high school. I wasn't a huge fan of John, but he did star in the mini series IT so the actual reality that this guy was now gone somehow tore me up. I still remember crying in the car pool I was in for no reason at all. All these years later I feel the reason why I took it so hard was because John was part of my childhood in acting in IT. That mini series terrified me growing up, and it was my first taste in waking up to the fact that death was a real thing, nobody was safe from it. I was now beginning to know what my parents felt when actors or singers they knew of or were fans of passed away over the years. In this generation, as a huge fan of older actors and artist from the 70's and 80's. these people are getting older, which means sadly more death will be happening. In fact I even stated that whenever Tom Atkins passes away I'm going to be a complete and utter wreck. In fact I really don't even want to think about it.
On my birthday director Wes Craven passed away which hit very hard, but not until this Thursday since John Ritter's death have I felt this terrible.
Alan Rickman most famous for playing Hans Gruber in Die Hard, and Snape in the Harry Potter series was a beyond talented actor who actually began to film career after the age of 40. Stealing the show in everything he appeared in he showed massive range and still as an older man captured my heart very early on. In fact back in 1988 my mother was pregnant with me and received a special video store screener of Die Hard from a membership she belonged to. 1988 was a rough year for my mother since just a few months before I was born she suddenly lost her father. In a way to comfort herself as a huge fan of movies, she would re-watch Die Hard over and over almost every day for the reminder of her pregnancy. She told me she couldn't explain why she did this, only that she loved this movie. I myself really do love the original film for a feel good action/holiday movie and got a complete kick out of hearing this story from her. I would like to believe I heard Alan's voice as Hans Gruber even before I was born shaping me into the sick puppy I am today.
After losing my mother in 2009 (this month in fact) I found comfort in certain movies as she did when she lost her father. Die Hard along with several other films strangely reminded me of her and became a comfort film of mine. In 2013 I re-watched this movie over and over again, watching it with friends and family, and admiring what a great screen villain Alan played. He was charming, handsome, and was the coolest bad guy ever who had one of the most epic deaths I've ever seen. A staple to watch around the holidays, Die Hard is in my top 20 favorite films of all time and a huge reason behind this is Alan's performance as Hans.
I began searching several different films of Alan's. Robin Hood, The January Man, Closet Land, Truly Madly Deeply, Nobel Son, and yes the Harry Potter films (my sister got me into these movies as well as the books.) I honestly couldn't think of anyone else playing Snape as Rickman did. I could honestly spend all day naming the beyond awesome films and projects he was involved in. Let them be action, adventure, romance, drama, or comedy. Whatever role he played he stole the show and was always a treat to watch. This man was not just a crush of mine, but a favorite actor since he reminded me of my mother. The night he passed away I settled down watching his film Truly Madly Deeply where he plays the ghost who returns to visit his grieving girlfriend, trying his hardest to show her how to move on. It's a beautiful film, and I highly recommend it to any fan of Alan's. That night I looked up clips of his films including Harry Potter and found myself a complete and utter wreck. Cancer is a terrible thing which claims so many people. I can't help but think of Bob Peck (Jurassic Park's Robert Muldoon) and how he died from cancer as well. I can only hope those two bad asses are up in Heaven acting out some play with my mother in the audience watching.
Alan's legacy will live on forever in his films and will always have a special place in my heart. I love you Alan, thank you for the memories, and remember…Always…
If this clip doesn't give you chills or makes you smile I'm at a loss.