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Alan Rickman: An Accomplished Villain

Alan RickmanBritish actor Alan Rickman’s dozens of roles ranged from the husband who strayed and quickly regretted it in Love, Actually (2003) to a terrorist leader in action thriller Die Hard (1988). But Rickman, who died Jan. 14 at age 69, probably resonated most with millions of Harry Potter fans as Severus Snape, the icy, humorless potion-mixing magic instructor in the hit movie franchise.

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No matter what his role, Rickman seemed to excel, in part, because of his virtuoso voice. In a 2008 study by linguistics researchers at Sheffield University, in which subjects were asked to rate 50 actors’ voices, Rickman came in first, for his combination of good tone, speed, frequency, words per minute and intonation.

Here are other intriguing facts about Rickman.

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Here’s a 2012 interview in which Rickman talks about his portrayal of Snape.

Photo: Evan Agostini/AP

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