British stage and screen giant Alan Rickman, best known internationally for his legendary roles in Harry Potter and Die Hard, has died in London at the age of 69, after a losing a battle with cancer. His death was confirmed on Thursday by his family, who were with him.

Starting his acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the late '70s and early '80s, Rickman then moved onto British TV shows and Broadway. In 1988 he starred in Die Hard alongside Bruce Willis as the incomparable villain Hans Gruber and most notably, as Snape in the Harry Potter franchise.