In a week with enough bad in it already comes the news that Alan Rickman, film, TV and stage legend, has died at the age of 69. It is reported that Rickman had been suffering from cancer and his death was confirmed today by family.

The statement read: "The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends."

Best known to many for his performances in films such as 'Die Hard', 'Love Actually', 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' and 'Sense and Sensibility', he was probably most famous amongst younger generations for his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series. The majority of Irish people will also know him for his portrayal of Éamon de Valera in 1996's 'Michael Collins'.

Rickman married his partner of 50 years, Rima Horton, last April.

Despite being best known for his acting, Rickman was also an accomplished director, garnering acclaim for his films 'The Winter Guest' and last year's 'A Little Chaos'. Among his accolades are BAFTA, Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG awards across more than 60 appearances in film and TV. He also appeared on stage at the Abbey Theatre in a 2010 production of Ibsen's 'John Gabriel Borkman'.

His last work was as the voice of the Blue Caterpillar in the Alice In Wonderland sequel 'Alice Through the Looking Glass', which is set for release on May 27th.

Via The Guardian