Emma Thompson, Sir Michael Gambon, Emma Watson and members of the film industry have led tributes to Alan Rickman who has died aged 69.
His family confirmed his death after suffering from cancer to the Guardian.
The British actor, who is best known for playing Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise as well as films such as Die Hard and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is also known for his work on stage.
Emma Thompson wrote a heartfelt tribute to her friend and Love Actually co-star in Newsweek, calling him the "ultimate ally" and a "rare and unique human being".
She said writing a tribute is hard as the actor was her friend who she has "just kissed goodbye".
"What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. His capacity to fell you with a look or lift you with a word. The intransigence which made him the great artist he was—his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view. I learned a lot from him."
Calling him the "ultimate ally in life, art and politics", Thompson said she "trusted him absolutely".
"He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again."
Sir Michael Gambon, who starred alongside Rickman when he portrayed Professor Dumbledore, told BBC Radio 4 he was a "great friend".
"Everybody loved Alan. He was always happy and fun and creative and very, very funny. He had a great voice, he spoke wonderfully well.
"He was intelligent, he wrote plays, he directed a play. So he was a real man of the theatre and the stage and that's how I think of Alan."
Emma Watson, who played Hermoine Granger in the film series, posted a tribute on her Facebook page calling Rickman "a special man and actor".
Stephen Fry took to Twitter to express his sadness, writing that he was a man of "such talent and wicked charm".
What desperately sad news about Alan Rickman. A man of such talent, wicked charm & stunning screen & stage presence. He'll be sorely missed— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) January 14, 2016
The leader of the Labour party called him "one of the greatest actors of his generation", as did the former Foreign Secretary David Miliband who called him both a "giant and a gent".
Very sad to hear that Alan Rickman has passed away. One of the greatest actors of his generation. My thoughts are with his family & friends— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) January 14, 2016
So sad and shocking to hear about Alan Rickman. Truly a giant and a gent. His eyes always twinkled, and that voice...— David Miliband (@DMiliband) January 14, 2016
Eddie Izzard and Piers Morgan pointed out that this sad news comes just two days after David Bowie, another iconic British entertainer, died from cancer.
I do not want my heroes to die! Alan Rickman is dead & he was another hero. Alan - thank you for being with us. We are sorry you had to go— Eddie Izzard (@eddieizzard) January 14, 2016
David Bowie dead from cancer at 69. Now Alan Rickman dead from cancer at 69. Two great talents, one bloody awful disease.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 14, 2016
Alan Rickman: Life in pictures
Alan Rickman: Life in pictures
Alan Rickman at the UK premiere of 'A Little Chaos' at ODEON Kensington in London, 2015
Alan Rickman poses with actress Kate Winslet and actress Helen McCrory as they attend the UK premiere of 'A Little Chaos' at ODEON Kensington in London, 2015
Alan Rickman attends The Public Theater's Annual Gala at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, in New York, 2015
Alan Rickman signs autographs for fans before the opening ceremony during the Febiofest Prague International Film Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, 2015
Alan Rickman poses with 'Elle & The Pocket Belles' as he attends on day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse in Chichester, 2015
Alan Rickman shakes hands with the Queen Elizabeth II during the Dramatic Arts reception at Buckingham Palace, 2014
Alan Rickman arriving for the premiere of his movie 'A Little Chaos' at the 58th BFI London Film Festival, in London, 2014
Alan Rickman arrives at the Giffoni Film Festival meeting with the jurors in Giffoni Valle Piana, Italy, 2014
'A Promise' film photocall, 70th Venice International Film Festival, Italy, 2013
Alan Rickman walks on the red carpet as he arrives to attend the World Premier for the film 'Gambit' in Leicester Square, in London, 2012
(L-R) Alan Rickman, Tom Felton, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Matthew Lewis attend the New York premiere of 'Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2' at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York, 2011
Alan Rickman signs autographs as he arrives for the North American premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at Lincoln Center in New York, 2011
Alan Rickman attends the 'John Gabriel Borkman' after party at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City, 2011
Alan Rickman at the Broadway opening night of 'Seminar' at The Golden Theatre in New York, 2011
Actors Sir Christopher Lee (L) and Alan Rickman attend the Royal World Premiere of 'Alice In Wonderland' at Odeon Leicester Square in London, 2010
Alan Rickman, Tom Wilkinson and Andy de la Tour perform at the Concert For Haiti, sponsored by the TUC, at Congress House in London, 2010
Alan Rickman poses at the Gibson Guitar celebrity hospitality lounge held at the Miners Club during the 2008 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah
Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver attend the photocall for 'Snow Cake' as part of the 56th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) in Berlin, 2006
Alan Rickman shares a laugh with Mos Def at the premiere of HBO's 'Something The Lord Made' in New York, 2004
Alan Rickman attends the UK Premiere of 'Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban' at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, 2004
Actor Alan Rickman and Lyndsey Duncan attend the '2002 Tony Award' nominees brunch in New York, 2002
Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson at London's Ivy Restaurant, helping to launch ActionAid Week, 2001
Alan Rickman and Julia Roberts at 'Hollywood Salutes Bruce Willis: An American Cinematheque Tribute' at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, 2000
Sigourney Weaver (L), Tim Allen (C) and Alan Rickman (R), pose for the premiere of the science fiction, action comedy film 'Galaxy Quest' outside Mann's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, 1999
Alan Rickman at the Golden Globe Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, 1997
Alan Rickman with Laim Neeson, Natasha Richardson in 1997
Actresses Cybill Shepherd (L) and Christine Baranski (C) present an Emmy to Alan Rickman (R) for outstanding lead actor in a mini-series or special for his lead role in the HBO production of 'Rasputin' during the 48th Annual Emmy Awards in Pasadena, California, 1996
Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and Phyllida Law at the Premiere of "Winter Guest" in Glasgow, Scotland, 1993
Alan Rickman, Juliette Stevenson and Michael Maloney in 1990
Alan Rickman in 1984
Sad news about Alan Rickman's death. While at the Evening Standard, we used to call him just to hear how cool he sounded on his answerphone.— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) January 14, 2016
Fellow Harry Potter actors Oliver and James Phelps who played Fred and George, the identical twins of the Weasley family, also paid tribute. Oliver credited him for putting him at ease when he was a "shy, young actor" while James called him "one of the nicest actors" he'd ever met.
Terribly sad news about the passing of Alan Rickman. A funny and engaging person who put a shy young actor at ease when I was on HP.— Oliver Phelps (@OliverPhelps) January 14, 2016
Shocked & sad to hear Alan Rickman has passed away. One of the nicest actors I've ever met.Thoughts and prayers with his family at this time— James Phelps (@James_Phelps) January 14, 2016
Others from the entertainment and film industries posted tributes to an actor whose first big role on-screen was at the age of 41 in Die Hard.
Farewell my friend.Your kindness & generosity ever since we met in LA in 1987 & ever since is incalculable.XX pic.twitter.com/BCUkCxMFj5— Richard E. Grant (@RichardEGrant) January 14, 2016
Goodbye Alan Rickman. You were genius in Harry Potter.— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) January 14, 2016
Dreadful to hear Alan Rickman has passed away. A wonderful actor and friend. What a sad day.— Richard Madden (@_richardmadden) January 14, 2016
Rest In Peace Alan Rickman. Such sad news. A huge loss.— Will Poulter (@PoulterWill) January 14, 2016
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