Legendary British actor Alan Rickman passed away on the 14th of January this year
So time got down to business yet again and did what he does best. If taking away one of Earth's most loved mortals was not good enough, time swooped to take away three, in only a short while. As you all will know, Alan Rickman, David Bowie and Glen Frey all bade farewell to their physical selves to take up a place in the more ethereal world in the last ten days or so.
Every single one of these iconic gentlemen were mammoths in their own right. While two were fabled musicians, one was an actor renowned all over the world for his awesome talent and job dropping screen presence. While I truly admire each and every single one of these great individuals, I will have to admit that I'll be concentrating on only one of them in this article.
Rickman played a lead role in Ang Lee's film Sense and Sensibilty
Alan Rickman is that gentleman and the only reason why I will focus on him today is because I know more about him than I do about the other two men who succumbed to the hands of death over the last fortnight. With respect to Alan Rickman however, I will not spend the length of this article remembering him or any particular role of his. In fact, what I would like to do is remind members of today's audience that Mr. Alan Rickman, did actually, have quite a few roles in his entire career.
As soon as Rickman passed, the internet was full of posts and obituaries, all well meaning of course, mourning the death of Professor Severus Snape. This proved that Rickman was known all over the world for playing the role of Hogwarts' Potions Master over the course of the eight films of the talismanic Harry Potter series. But it also proved that most of the people in the world were actually unaware of Rickman's accomplishments in other avenues of modern cinema.
With all due respect to the actors I'm about to mention, Alan Rickman cannot be compared to the likes of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson or Tom Felton. Alan Rickman was a legend by the time he played the part of Snape in the first Harry Potter movie. For the others though, the Harry Potter series was more or less their first foray into stardom.
He also was one of the lead actors in the 2003 film Love Actually
Even then, would Radcliffe, Grint, Watson and Felton be remembered only for their roles in the Harry Potter movies at this point of time? The answer would have to be no as each and every single one of these young screen stars have featured in massive productions other than the world famous Harry Potter franchise.
In the same manner, Alan Rickman has done loads of movies other than the eight Harry Potter ones. Was his role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (1991) of any less importance? Did he not magnificently pull off the role of Harry in Love Actually (2003)? How can we forget his part in Ang Lee's much-acclaimed Sense and Sensibility (1995)?Finally, how can anyone ignore Rickman's title role as Grigori Rasputin in the TV film Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny (1996).
In fact, his part as Rasputin in Rasputin would have to be his most successful role as he swept up a whole host of awards in the year 1996. Rickman won the Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor - Miniseries or a Movie and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film, all for his part in the HBO TV film.
Rickman though was known all over the world for his role as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films
So, do you still think that a person who has done so much in the world of cinema should be remembered for so little. Yes, his role in the Harry Potter films was massive, there's no doubt about that. The character that he portrayed in the films was an extremely important cog in the entire machine that Miss Rowling wove in her head. And yes, as part of the franchise, Rickman did play the role of Snape in not one, but eight movies! These figures are definitely massive, but all I mean to say here is that his roles in his other films are massive as well.
The other thing that I'd like to stress upon is the fact that Alan Rickman was a giant of the film industry even before he played the part of Professor Snape. This is where I'd have to admit that the name of Alan Rickman was only well known within the borders of the United Kingdom.
Most of his roles prior to his Harry Potter one was for movies that were popular only in the UK mostly. This could definitely be a reason why the world has chosen to remember him only as Snape and not as any other one of his characters.
Another reason that could explain the internet reacting to the death of "Snape" and not Rickman would have to be the massive popularity of the Harry Potter series, and also the popularity of the series amongst today's youth. The majority of the populace who are active on social media platform all over the internet would have to be more on the younger side, which simply means that they would only have seen Rickman in his role as Snape. Therefore, it would be absolutely understandable that these people are referring to the man only as Professor Snape.
Coming to the end of my article, I'd like to hope that my message was clear and I'd like to clear out any chances of this piece being misinterpreted. I definitely do not intend to cause controversy especially when there is a need to pay our respects to not just a legend who has passed, but a fellow human being.
Professor Snape died in 2007 when the last Harry Potter book came out while Alan Rickman died a week ago. By now, all I hope is that those who have read this article can understand that by putting up posts on social media that read "RIP Prof Snape", we were doing the character of Alan Rickman in his role in the great adventure of Life, a little bit of wrong.