Actor Alan Rickman has died at the age 69 after a secret battle with cancer.
Announcing his sad death on Thursday 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.”
The British star was best known for his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films, the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Hans Gruber in Die Hard.
The actor’s other well-known films include Truly, Madly, Deeply, Sense and Sensibility and Love Actually.
He had kept his illness private and only close family and friends were are of his condition.
Rickman revealed last year he had secretly married long-term partner Rima Horton in a New York ceremony in 2012, whom he had been in a relationship with since 1977.
His brother David, 71, added: ‘He passed away this morning. He was in a hospital at the time.’