Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman (born 21 February 1946) is a British actor. Rickman is best known for his performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series. He is also known for his prominent role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 blockbuster film, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and more recently Judge Turpin in Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Steven Spurrier in Bottle Shock.
Rickman was born in Hammersmith, London to a working-class family, the son of Margaret Doreen Rose (née Bartlett), a housewife, and Bernard Rickman, a factory worker. Rickman's mother was Welsh and a Methodist and his father was of Irish Catholic background, He has one older brother David, a younger brother Michael and a younger sister Sheila. Rickman attended an infants school in Acton that followed the Montessori method of education. When he was eight his father died, leaving his mother to raise four children mostly alone. She married again, but divorced his stepfather after three years. "There was one love in her life," Rickman later said. Rickman excelled at calligraphy and watercolour painting, and from Derwentwater Junior School