Rickman’s family confirmed the news on Thursday morning, stating that he had been privately suffering from cancer.
Rickman gave acclaimed performances in the likes of Die Hard, Sense and Sensibility and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves but it is his role as Snape that touched younger fans of JK Rowling’s Hogwarts movies the most.
Soon after his death was announced, fans began flooding Twitter with posts expressing their shock and sorrow, with many sharing photos of the “wands in the air” scene featured in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince after the death of headmaster Albus Dumbledore.
Raise your wands Farewell, Prof. Snape pic.twitter.com/cZP0KaCT84— Ichi (@ichi_monji) January 14, 2016
Rickman’s career only took off aged 41 when he played villain Hans Gruber in 1988’s Die Hard alongside Bruce Willis.
He has two films out this year, Eye in the Sky with Helen Mirren and Alice Through The Looking Glass as the Blue Caterpillar.
JK Rowling, Daniel Radcliffe, Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson are among those to pay tribute to Rickman.