Google Doodle celebrates late actor Alan Rickman and his career

Artist Helene Leroux, who drew the image, said it was a 'privilege to honour' the actor's life

Google is celebrating the life and career of late English actor Alan Rickman with a doodle. Photo: Google
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Google has dedicated its latest Doodle to English actor Alan Rickman, who died in 2016 at age 69 after a battle with cancer. Known for his deep and languid voice, Rickman was remembered on Sunday on the 36th anniversary of his performance in Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liasons), a Broadway play that was instrumental in launching his career in 1987.

Rickman's breakout role as scheming French aristocrat, the Vicomte de Valmont, earned him a Tony nomination and he began receiving offers to act in films soon after.

Artist Helene Leroux, who drew the Google Doodle, said it was a "privilege to honour" Rickman's life and career in the image, which shows him raising his eyebrows and surrounded by leaves.

"I wanted to illustrate Alan's passion for creativity — represented in the soft watercolours of the background in reference to some of Alan's most beautiful artwork," she told PA Wire.

"Following his death, Alan's popular autobiographical diaries also captured the nation's attention; these candid and entertaining reflections are represented by the fine, fountain-pen like scratches layered on a background resembling white lined paper.

"The branches either side of the Doodle are also inspired by his diary scribbles. His diverting on-screen performances have no doubt left a unique and lasting imprint on British culture, and I am thrilled that it lives on via my doodle today."

A product of the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Rickman was often cast as the bad guy; and gained popularity for his ability to play evil characters with wicked, irresistible relish.

In 1988, Rickman starred as criminal mastermind Hans Gruber in the film Die Hard, now considered one of the most popular villains in cinematic history. The film’s success led to him playing similar antagonist roles in films such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. His career trajectory continued throughout the 1990s with roles in Sense and Sensibility (1995) and Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny (1996), the latter of which earned him an Emmy and Golden Globe Award.

In 2001, the actor took on the role of scene-stealing Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. His intimidating, scary and captivating performance also lead to him starring in the following seven Harry Potter films and becoming an international sensation.

Over the course of his career, Rickman received numerous acting nominations and awards and even directed three plays and two films. Besides his on-screen and stage work, he's also remembered for his philanthropy, as well as his kind and sensitive nature off-screen.

Updated: April 30, 2023, 5:25 AM