Alan Rickman is one of the best actors of his generation and has taken on a series of iconic and terrific roles during his illustrious career.

Alan Rickman in A Little Chaos

Alan Rickman in A Little Chaos

This week he is back with A Little Chaos, which sees him in front of the camera as well as in the director's chair. It was seventeen years ago when Richman made his directorial debut with The Winter Guest and now he is back.

To celebrate Rickman's double return, we take a look at some of his best and most memorable movie roles.

- Die Hard

When you make your big screen debut, you always want to announce yourself with a bang... and that is exactly what Rickman did when he landed the role of Hans Gruber in Die Hard.

Yes, it was back in 1989 when Rickman made his film debut - making the leap from TV star to movie actor - as he teamed up with Bruce Willis for the first film in the hugely popular action franchise.

Hans Gruber remains one of the best and most iconic movie villains of all time and Rickman really did bring a theatrical flair to this character - which fitted the evil nature of Gruber perfectly - and the banter between Rickman and Bruce Willis is terrific.

Die Hard remains the best film in the action franchise, and both John McClane and Hans Gruber have gone on to become much loved characters in the intervening years.

They always say if you want a good movie baddie then cast an English actor - and Rickman really proved that saying true with this great performance. It really does remain on of my favourites.

- Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Rickman returned to the role of the villain in 1991 when director Kevin Reynolds brought his version of Robin Hood to the big screen with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Rickman took on the role of the cruel and evil Sheriff of Nottingham alongside Kevin Costner's noble Robin Hood.

For me, Rickman steals the show as the Sherriff. Again, he did bring a theatrical flair to the role and yet he never oversteps the mark or takes it too far. He has some of the best lines and the best moments as he tries to stop the uprising of Robin Hood and take the throne for himself.

Rickman won the Best Supporting Actor BAFTA and the Evening Standard British Film Award, while also receiving nominations from the MTV Movie Awards, Saturn Awards, and Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) Awards.

- Sense & Sensibility

Rickman swapped baddie for period drama in 1996 when he landed the role of Colonel Brandon in a big screen adaptation of the Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility.

The movie saw Rickman team up with director Ang Lee for the first time, while Emma Thompson penned the screenplay and starred in the film with Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant.

Sense & Sensibility follows the Dashwood sisters as they are left poor by the rules of inheritance and try to find love. Colonel Brandon is a potential love interest for the youngest sister Marianne (Winslet) who is - at first - blind to the older man's affection for her.

Sense & Sensibility is a wonderfully rich adaptation of a terrific novel that shows an incredibly talented ensemble cast on top form. The role of Brandon is an understated one for Rickman and yet he has a real presence in every scene that he is in.

The movie went on to be nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. Thompson scooped the gong for Best Adapted Screenplay for her work on the script.

- Love Actually

Rickman would reunite with Thompson nearly a decade later as they joined the ensemble cast of Christmas romance movie Love Actually.

Love Actually saw Richard Curtis on both writing and directing duties and followed eight very different couples trying to navigate their love lives.

In Love Actually Rickman and Thompson played husband and wife Harry and Karen in what is one of the most powerful stories in the film. Harry's wandering eye has settled on a younger woman, leaving his wife struggling to figure out where their relationship is over the Christmas period.

The moment that Karen realises that the necklace Harry has bought is not for her and the scene where they come face to face in the bedroom are two of the film's best.

Love Actually remains one of the most loved Christmas movies and went on to gross over $246 million when it hit the big screen.

- Harry Potter series

The one role that Rickman is best known for is that of Snape in the Harry Potter series. It was a role that he held from 2001 to 2011 - making an appearance in them all.

Over the eight films, he kept fans guessing about whether or not he was on Harry's side or not and truly thrilled audiences of all ages with his terrific performance.

Rickman is just one of the great British actors that appeared in the Harry Potter series over the years, but his good guy/bad guy role make him one of the most memorable.

Harry Potter has gone on to become the highest grossing film franchise of all time, grossing over $7.7 billion over the eight movies.

Rickman was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Alliance of Women Film Journalist (AWFJ) EDA Award and the Saturn Award during his time playing the role.

- A Little Chaos

Rickman returns to the director's chair this week with new period drama A Little Chaos - will is set during the reign of King Louis XIV and the building of Versailles and the gardens.

As well as being in the director's chair, Rickman will take on the role of King Louis XIV alongside Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Helen McCrory, and Stanley Tucci.

While Rickman does not play the leading role in A Little Chaos, he still has some terrific moments in the film. The garden scene where Sabine De Barra doesn't recognise him as the king is a high point in the film.

A Little Chaos is a charming and beautiful looking movie and Rickman has got some great performances out of his actors.

A Little Chaos is out in UK cinemas April 17th.

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