LONDON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Beloved British actor Alan Rickman, known for playing a pantheon of bad guys on the big screen, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 69.
His family confirmed his death Thursday to Britain's Guardian newspaper.
The star was known for his portrayals of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter blockbusters, as well as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Hans Gruber in Die Hard.
"There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man," J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter franchise, said via Twitter.
"My thoughts are with [his wife] Rima and the rest of Alan's family. We have all lost a great talent. They have lost part of their hearts."
There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 14, 2016
His frequent collaboator Emma Thompson talked to UPI about Rickman in 2003 when they reunited on screen to play husband and wife in Love Actually.
"Alan and I, we are so married now that we actually had a row on set," Thompson revealed. "Because I was saying, 'Oh, well, why don't you try this?' and he said: 'I'll do what I bloody well want. Don't tell me what to do!' I said, 'I wasn't telling you what to do!' We got very nippy with each other in the airport scene. It was hysterical. I just said, 'I am so glad I'm not married to you!'"
Thompson then noted how her director/father always said "direction is 90 percent in the casting."
"And I think that is very true," the actress agreed. "I think working with anyone more than once is good because, apart from the obvious, you can be thoroughly rude to them and that gets rid of a lot of hoo-ha. You don't have to skirt around their egos and everyone's had their corners rubbed off. You recognize them."
Thompson and Rickman also worked together in the Harry Potter franchise, The Song of Lunch, Judas Kiss, The Winter Guest and Sense and Sensibility.