West Yorkshire Playhouse in tribute to Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman as Severus Snape in Harry Potter.
Alan Rickman as Severus Snape in Harry Potter.
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Leeds Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis is among the stars to pay tribute to one of the ultimate on-screen ‘baddies’ Alan Rickman.

The 69-year-old London-born star died from cancer, surrounded by his family and friends.

Matthew, who played Neville Longbottom in the Potter series, revealed that he heard the news while at Leavesden studios where the franchise was filmed.

“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,” he wrote.

Also paying tribute were Potter author J.K.Rowling who Tweeted: “There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death.”

Rickman’s career began on stage, and his love for theatre saw him direct The Winter Guest at West Yorkshire Playhouse in 1995.

On its 20th anniversary in 2011, Rickman paid tribute to the “memorable” Playhouse, saying his time there was “very happy” and recalling how, after one performance, the audience, snowed in, slept in the foyer with cast members Phyllida Law and Sheila Reid. West Yorkshire Playhouse artistic director James Brining said: “Alan Rickman was one of the leading British actors of his generation, loved for his work in the theatre, films and on TV. He was a warm supporter of the Playhouse and shared our commitment to making work of the highest quality.”