A statement from his family reads: "The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends."
Rickman was born in Hammersmith, London in 1946 and found success on both the stage and screen. He was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and starred in Hollywood films like Die Hard, Robinhood: Prince of Thieves, Love Actually, Dogma, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Sense and Sensibility.
From 2001 until 2011, he played the role of Professor Severus Snape in the blockbuster Harry Potter film series.
Accolades throughout his career included a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a SAG Award.
A smattering of co-stars and fans have paid their respects on social media, and you'll find some of those touching tributes below.
There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 14, 2016
What desperately sad news about Alan Rickman. A man of such talent, wicked charm & stunning screen & stage presence. He'll be sorely missed— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) January 14, 2016
Terribly sad news about the passing of Alan Rickman. A funny and engaging person who put a shy young actor at ease when I was on HP.— Oliver Phelps (@OliverPhelps) January 14, 2016
Farewell my friend.Your kindness & generosity ever since we met in LA in 1987 & ever since is incalculable.XX pic.twitter.com/BCUkCxMFj5— Richard E. Grant (@RichardEGrant) January 14, 2016
I was at Leavesden Studios today when I heard the news. As I walked through the canteen I thought of Alan queuing up for his lunch with us mere mortals. I recalled the trailer in which he offered me some of the greatest advice I ever received about this mad profession we shared. Being back in those corridors made me remember a lot of things and I will treasure those memories all my life. He inspired my career more than he ever knew and I'll miss him.