Yet again, we’ve lost another star to the battle of cancer.

Above and beyond his passing at just 69, Alan Rickman was a compelling star in his own right — not just in films, but on stage and the small screen as well. Catapulting his prolific career was his Tony-nominated portrayal of the manipulative lover, Valmont, in Royal Shakespeare Company’s 1985 production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

Despite having only started his film acting career at 41, Rickman has achieved so much more than most young actors after putting his own graphic design studio on the line. With a velvet-smooth voice, Hollywood was clearly taken with Rickman, he took on roles in almost every genre — from comedies (Dogma), romance (Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually), sci-fi (Galaxy Quest), all-out action (Die Hard). ot just were his acting chops praised, but he always established himself as a director with the 1995 film The Winter Guest, and also the 2005 award-winning play My Name is Rachel Corrie.

In his 20 odd years of acting, Rickman often played complex antagonists that eventually earned him a Golden Globe, an Emmy, a Screen Actors Guild Award as well as a BAFTA. Regrettably, he never saw himself winning an Oscar, but it was the wider worth of his love for acting to which he remained committed to, looking upon himself with levity.

Of course, Rickman made his indelible mark in the Harry Potter films (2001 – 2011) as Professor Severus Snape, a morally ambiguous anti-hero whom an entire generation thoroughly adored. In such stoic animosity, Rickman breathed life into the character, peeling back layer after layer as each sequel journeys along, pulling us deeper into empathizing with the tortured villain. In his guise, he taught us all that no matter what choices you’ve made or mistakes you’ve suffered, you can still be a hero.

In his own words, “Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.”

Although our Professor Snape is gone forever, he has changed the world and our undying love for Rickman, just like Snape to Lily, lives on.

“After all this time?”

“Always.”