I just wanted to take a little break from my Bowie-fest–and from music altogether–to pay tribute to one of my favorite actors. Alan Rickman has died. Like Bowie, he was 69 and the cause of death was cancer.
Rickman was one of those actors you had trouble not noticing. He wasn’t the greatest looking guy on-screen, usually (although I found him immensely attractive), and at first he didn’t seem to be doing anything especially outstanding character-wise. But you would find yourself paying more and more attention whenever he was in a scene, and all the little details he brought to his roles became such a magnificent performance that you couldn’t help but want more. Like most Americans, my first exposure to him was as Hans Gruber in Die Hard. I knew something was up when I found myself rooting for the villain halfway through the movie. Rickman was a compelling actor and his presence will be sorely missed.
My favorite movie of his (one of my Top Ten all time movies) is Truly, Madly, Deeply with the equally wonderful Juliet Stevenson. It is one of the most romantic movies I’ve ever seen. (I’ve always assumed it inspired an insipid piece of garbage called Ghost, but don’t let that put you off from this one.) I cry every time I see it, twice: once at the beginning and once at the end. Big, awful, chest-wracking sobs. This movie breaks my heart and puts it back together again. And Alan Rickman as Jamie is just so glorious to watch. Find this movie. Watch it. Right now.
Here’s a clip from near the end. They are reciting a Pablo Neruda poem titled “The Dead Woman.” Have a tissue handy.
Thank you, Alan, for making me cry and laugh and cringe at the movies for so long.