Emma Thompson pays tribute to ‘ultimate ally’ Alan Rickman

British actor died at 69 after a battle with cancer

Actress Emma Thompson has released a statement honouring frequent co-star Alan Rickman, describing him as her “ultimate ally” and “the finest of actors”.

Thompson and Rickman famously appeared in 2003’s Love Actually, having also worked together in a number of projects, including 1995’s Sense and Sensibility, 2010’s Song of Lunch​, 1998’s Judas Kiss and 1997 film The Winter Guest.

“Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye,” Thompson has said in a statement.

“What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. His capacity to fell you with a look or lift you with a word.”

She continued: “The intransigence which made him the great artist he was – his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view. I learned a lot from him.

“He was the finest of actors and directors. I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do with his face next. I consider myself hugely privileged to have worked with him so many times and to have been directed by him.”

“He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics. I trusted him absolutely. He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.”

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Rickman, best known for his roles as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films and villain Hans Gruber in Die Hard, passed away on Thursday (January 14) in London.

His death has been confirmed by his family. A family statement said: “The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends.”

Following the sad news, the likes of JK Rowling, Stephen Fry and more have paid tribute to Rickman.

Over the course of his 30-plus year career, Rickman had won a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.