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For fans of Harry Potter, Die Hard and Love Actually (along with a shitload of other films), 14 January 2016 is a difficult date as it is the anniversary of Alan Rickman's death. It was a shock to the world, with only his closest family and friends knowing he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer several months before he died.
People were still coming to terms with the passing of David Bowie - who also kept his health private - four days earlier. So when news broke that everyone's favourite movie bad guy was gone, most didn't know what to do with themselves.
Because of his incredible role in the Harry Potter franchise as the idiosyncratic Professor Severus Snape, fans gathered at London's Kings Cross Station underneath the Platform 9 ¾ sign and remembered the stage and screen legend.
While they weren't the best of friends in the Hogwarts universe, the man who played 'The Boy Who Lived', Daniel Radcliffe, posted one of the most touching tributes to the 69-year-old.
Writing on his Google+ account, Radcliffe said: "Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with. He is also, one of the loyalest [sic] and most supportive people I've ever met in the film industry.
"He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter.
I'm pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn't have to do that.
"I know other people who've been friends with him for much, much longer than I have and they all say, 'If you call Alan, it doesn't matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he's doing, he'll get back to you within a day'.
"People create perceptions of actors based on the parts they played so it might surprise some people to learn that contrary to some of the sterner (or downright scary) characters he played, Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny.
"And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass.
"As an actor, he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child.
"Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career.
"Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man."
Who's cutting onions in the office?
It would be difficult losing a mentor that you had worked with for 10 years and at such a young age. Other Harry Potter alumni added to the chorus of tributes, including author J.K. Rowling, who said: "There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death. He was a magnificent actor and a wonderful man."
Emma Watson, who played Hermione, said: "I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I'll really miss our conversations."
Rickman played several incredible bad guys in his career, but everyone who knew him behind the scenes spoke of his incredible warmth and approachability. Die Hard director John McTiernan wrote for the Hollywood Reporter: "For a guy who played probably the best bad guys of our generation, he was such a gentle man.
"He was so soft-spoken and so sweet. But he had such a gift for playing such terrifying people."
It's heart-breaking to think we'll never see the 69-year-old in another project. His incredible voice will never say new lines and his face will never convey so much emotion that words are simply redundant.
14 January will always be a difficult day for Rickman fans - but at least there's an excuse to watch any of his films, from his 1978 debut with the BBC's Romeo and Juliet to his final movie in 2016 Alice Through the Looking Glass, or anything in between.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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