Thursday, January 14, 2016

R.I.P. Rickman and Bowie

Years ago when I realized that many of my favorite movie moments were musical, this moment--from one of my all time favorite movies, "Truly Madly Deeply"-- was near the top of the list.  It's fascinating that it's been rediscovered as a way of honoring and remembering Alan Rickman, whose death was announced today.

It's gratifying especially because Rickman was most famous for playing villains, notably the seemingly evil but in the end noble Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.  "Truly, Madly, Deeply" was one of his few romantic leads, and an offbeat one at that.  It was Anthony Mingella's first film, and he, too died too soon.

Rickman in real life, as many said today, restricted his dark side mostly to the movie roles.  In real life he was a committed and accomplished theatre artist who was known also for kindness and good humor.  He mentored Daniel Radcliffe from the first time he played Harry, and in recent years he did what a true friend does in the theatrical realm--no matter where Radcliffe was performing in a play, Rickman would go to see him.

His long working friendship with Emma Thompson, his stage work with Lindsay Duncan, are all legendary.  He was one of my favorite actors.

Rickman was just a few months older than me.  The death of contemporaries like him and David Bowie (who his wife Iman praised as a real gentleman) stirs so many emotions, including shame at how little I accomplished in comparison, and yet here I still am.  But my admiration and vicarious pride in what they did and the kind of people, the kind of men they were, enhances my life.

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