Still of Alan Rickman in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Alan Rickman's most memorable characters
01:30 - Source: CNN

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NEW: "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe posts poignant statement about Rickman

Rickman died Thursday, according to the agency that represented him

CNN  — 

Alan Rickman, the British actor with the unforgettable voice who played the brooding Professor Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” films as well as “Die Hard” villain Hans Gruber, died Thursday after a short battle with cancer, according to his representatives at Independent Talent Group.

He was 69.

“There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death,” “Potter” author J.K. Rowling tweeted Thursday.

Fans had lost “a great talent,” she said, and his family “have lost a part of their hearts.”

Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter in the films, posted a statement on Google+ calling Rickman “one of the greatest actors I will ever work with” and one of the nicest, as well.

“Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny,” Radcliffe wrote. “And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass.”

Alan Rickman

A smooth-voiced London native, Rickman worked on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company and in UK television projects before earning his first film role as German terrorist Gruber, opposite Bruce Willis’ John McClane, in 1988’s “Die Hard.”