Alan Rickman is an enigma. Widely known for his portrayal of Professor Severus Snape in the hit Harry Potter films. Rickman is also one of Britain's greatest stage actors, embracing everything from Shakespear, Chekhov and Noel Coward, to directing Ruby Wax on stage. He has also appeared on television in shows as varied as Rasputin, The Barchester Chronicles and Victoria Wood with all the Trimmings, though global fame came with his move on to the big screen. His first part as terrorist Hans Gruber in Die Hard and he has gone on to star in such diverse movies as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Sense and Sensibilty, Dogma and Galaxy Quest. He has shown his versatility as the villain, the comic actor and the romantic lead and, while his award-winning performances have made him a leading amn directors call, his air of mystery, his smouldering good looks and his unique voice have made him an international sex symbol.
Yet behind all this glamour lies the west London working-class socialist with strong political principles. Hollywood is the dream factory, yet Rickman's heart is often within the theatre. His reputation suggests a man difficult to work with, so is he similar to the characters he plays? Or is that the mark of this great actor - that he is nothing like them?
In this revised and updated biography, Maureen Paton encompasses the private, professional and political life of this most enigmatic, charismatic and intensely private of actors.show more