West Hampstead actress Emma Thompson leads emotional tributes to Alan Rickman

PUBLISHED: 16:50 14 January 2016 | UPDATED: 00:09 15 January 2016

Alan Rickman attends a BAFTA event last year    Picture : Yui Mok/PA Wire

Alan Rickman attends a BAFTA event last year Picture : Yui Mok/PA Wire

Actress Emma Thompson has paid tribute to her friend Alan Rickman, describing him as “the finest actor” and the “ultimate ally in life.”

Friends  Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson at an event for  ActionAid. Photo: Johnny Green/PA WireFriends Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson at an event for ActionAid. Photo: Johnny Green/PA Wire

The much-loved star died yesterday aged 69 after suffering from cancer.

He was a key member of the acting community in Hampstead and Highgate and an active supporter of Hampstead Theatre.

Hampstead Theatre’s artistic director Ed Hall told of his sadness at the death of the actor who will be “sorely missed.”

Emma Thompson, who appeared alongside Alan Rickman in movies Love Actually and Sense and Sensibility, said: “Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye.

Alan Rickman appearing in Bad Language at Hampstead Theatre picture: John HaynesAlan Rickman appearing in Bad Language at Hampstead Theatre picture: John Haynes

“What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humor, 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.

“He was the finest of actors and directors. I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do with his face next. I consider myself hugely privileged to have worked with him so many times and to have been directed by him.

He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics. I trusted him absolutely. He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.”

Hampstead Theatre’s s artistic director Ed Hall also paid tribute to Mr Rickman, whose picture hangs on the wall at the new building in Eton Avenue.

The young star first performed at Hampstead Theatre in a production of Bad Language in 1983.

Mr Hall said: “Back then the theatre was just a shed, and he has been involved ever since. Alan Rickman is part of the foundations of the Hampstead Theatre.

“In the last six years in particular he has been at the centre of our campaigning to get the theatre back on the map.”

The actor often spoke in interviews of his passion for the theatre and new plays.

Mr Hall said: “He had seen nearly all our productions and was always here supporting us in some way.”

He spoke of the sadness as he and colleagues heard the news. “We were in rehearsals when we heard. We are very very sad. He will be sorely missed by all at the Hampstead Theatre.”

Although he lived in West London, Mr Rickman spent a lot of time in the Hampstead and Highgate area where he had many close friends including Emma Thompson and actresses Juliet Stevenson, his costar in Truly Madly Deeply, and Lindsey Duncan.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

50 minutes ago

As part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, Haringey Police have been engaging with the community to raise awareness of the importance of reporting abuse and discrimination.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Community groups are celebrating after the owners of the “landmark” Alliance pub in West Hampstead had planning permission for extensive remodelling and redevelopment refused.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Twenty-five people, including eleven in Camden, have been charged with drugs offences after two-days of dawn raids in Camden, Islington, Brent and Lambeth.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Sardonic, sarcastic and funny are three of the words that have been used to describe the late-SOAS lecturer and King’s Cross local Prof Lawrence Saez, who died at the beginning of September.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Jamie Brown of Archant Local Impact explains how you can build brand awareness.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

This year’s Remembrance Day will see a remarkable multi-faith ceremony bring together the Highgate community to remember the horrors of the First World War on the centenary of its conclusion.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Christmas came early for activists in West Hampstead last night after Camden Council refused to grant christmas tree sellers Pines and Needles a licence to trade from Fortune Green.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now