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Alan Rickman – the British actor best known for his villainous roles in such blockbuster films as Die Hard and the Harry Potter series – has passed away at the age of 69.

Alan Rickman Photo

According to a statement, Rickman had been battling cancer. He reportedly passed away at his home in London this morning.

"The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends," the statement from his loved ones reads.

RIckman found success as an actor relatively late in life, winning a Tony Award for his work in Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1988.

That same year, Rickman struck box office gold with his role as Hans Gruber in the action classic Die Hard.

Between that oft-quoted performance ("Now I have a machine gun…Ho, ho, ho.") and his role in Love Actually, Rickman’s one-of-a-kind voice has become a Christmastime staple in homes all over the world. 

Of course, it was his role as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films that would enable the master of the deadpan delivery to frighten a whole new generation.

Just last year, Rickman revealed that he had married Rima Horton – his partner since 1965 – at a small civil ceremony in 2012.

Truly one of the most beloved and influential character actors in movie history, Rickman has already inspired thousands of social media tributes from friends, fellow actors, and his generations of fans.