British 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.
With his imposing stature and deep voice, Fred Thompson, who played district attorney Arthur Branch on the long-running TV series Law & Order, was utterly believable as a tough-but-wise authority figure.
He’s served as The American President, terrified a generation of men into embracing marital fidelity in Fatal Attraction, and tickled the ivories as Liberace Behind the Candelabra.
With his dark, dashing looks and commanding presence, Egyptian-born Omar Sharif dominated the big screen in such epics as Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965).
Actor Dick Van Patten might have been America’s favorite fictional dad in the late 1970s/early 1980s for his role on the TV sitcom Eight Is Enough: Tom Bradford, a widower who married his son’s tutor (Betty Buckley) and formed a chaotic but loving new family unit with her.
How powerful an impression has Leonard Nimoy’s Star Trek portrayal of Spock left on American culture? Hold up your right hand in the split-fingered Vulcan salute that Nimoy invented for his relentlessly logical, dispassionate half-alien starship officer, and odds are that just about everybody in the room will get the reference.
You might remember Rod Taylor as Mitch Brenner, the handsome, stolid lawyer who, despite being something of a mama’s boy, summons up the courage and presence of mind to repeatedly rescue young socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) from flocks of inexplicably murderous avians in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 horror-suspense classic, The Birds.
Richard Attenborough had a pretty good career as a character actor. From the 1940s to the mid-2000s, he appeared in nearly 80 films, including the 1963 World War II epic The Great Escape, in which he played the mastermind of a daring flight from a Nazi prison camp, to 1992's Jurassic Park, in which he played bioengineering genius John Hammond, the owner of an ill-fated theme park stocked with cloned dinosaurs.
Bill Murray is the latest celeb announced for the cast of Disney's new live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. He'll be the voice of Baloo, the lovable bear who became popular after singing the Bare Necessities in Disney's 1967 animated version.
Search AARP Blogs