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Alan Rickman’s death came after a short battle with pancreatic cancer, it was claimed today after the showbiz world paid emotional tribute to the much-loved actor. Playing lead roles in major movies such as Professor Snape in Harry Potter, Voiced the Vlue Catapiller in Alice in Wonderland/Alice Through The Looking Glass and Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd.

The star died yesterday at a London hospital, surrounded by friends and relatives including his wife Rima, after waging a secret fight with the illness.

He apparently concealed his diagnosis from all but close confidants, and kept an upbeat demeanour even weeks before his death.

It was reported today that Rickman had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of the disease.

Respected US showbiz journalist Roger Friedman claimed that the star had a suspected stroke in August, which led to his cancer diagnosis.

Writing on Showbiz 411, Mr Friedman said that Rickman told a select few friends about the disease during a visit to New York last month, when he was pictured at the musical Hamilton in what is the last known photograph of him.

The charity Pancreatic Cancer Action said in a statement: ‘We were very sad to hear that one of Britain’s most popular actors, Alan Rickman, passed away after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

‘Our thoughts are with all this friends and family at this very sad time.’



Tributes to Rickman were led by his Harry Potter colleagues J.K. Rowling, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe, who praised him as a generous mentor to young actors.

His old friend and frequent collaborator Emma Thompson also spoke of her grief, revealing that she had ‘kissed him goodbye’ and calling him ‘a rare and unique human being’.

Rickman married his long-term partner Rima Horton in secret four years ago, nearly half a century after they had first met as teenagers.

Neighbours said they had ‘no idea’ that Rickman was ill and described how he kept his usual upbeat demeanour in the weeks before his death.


One local said: ‘Whenever I saw him in the street I always thought he looked very well. He was such a lovely man, I’m so sorry to hear about his death.’

Another added: ‘He always smiled and said hello when I saw him. I saw him before Christmas and he looked normal. I had no idea about the cancer.’

Producer Catherine Bailey, an old friend of Rickman’s from drama school, said that he had remained remarkably selfless even when he was just days from death.

‘I saw him two days before he died and he wanted to hear about me and my family and how we were,’ she told the Guardian.

Rickman was scheduled to give a talk at his old school, Latymer Upper in Hammersmith, later this month – suggesting that he may not have known how advanced his cancer was.

He recently filmed The Limehouse Golem, a Gothic horror movie set in Victorian London and shot on location in Manchester over the past few months.

Two other films featuring Rickman, Eye in the Sky and Alice Through the Looking Glass, are scheduled to be released this year.



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