This website was born from a passion for two things. Movies and Christmas. When these two subjects are combined together, it produces some of the most wonderful motion pictures to grace cinemas around the globe. It also produces many poor ones.

There are certain actors and actresses who you can almost guarantee will deliver a performance if they’re in the cast. Fortunately for us, Alan Rickman found his way in to our hearts through a couple of Christmas classics.

While many will remember Rickman for his top-drawer performances in the Harry Potter movies, for us our first experience of his talent came much earlier.

Like many, my first introduction to the great Alan Rickman was through that 1988 action blockbuster, Die Hard. Playing the role of Hans Gruber, the leader of a German terrorist group, he is both charismatic and terrifying in equal measure.

It’s hard to image anyone who would have been more suited to the role as he instructs his team of machine gun-wielding bandits in taking the Nakatomi Plaza sky scraper, and all that find themselves unfortunate enough to be inside, hostage.

He’s suave, intelligent and ruthless, and his exchanges with Bruce Willis are, for us, what makes the movie.  Sure, there are many other great points and subplots, but Rickman and Willis kept you on the edge of your seat the whole way.

Die Hard was perhaps the springboard for Rickman as he went on to play a great number of high-profile roles in Hollywood.  His role of Snape in the Harry Potter movies will, for the current generation at least, be the one most people remember him by, while his talents also wowed Broadway and the West End on a number of occasions.

Alan Rickman also played a big part in another Christmas movie, the 2003 smash hit, Love Actually. With a stellar cast including the likes of Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and Kiera Knightley, he was at his best as he played the role of Harry, a husband and boss who has his attention drawn to a young, attractive female co-worker.

Our favourite scene featuring Rickman is when he is out Christmas shopping for jewellery for his female temptress and has to contend with an eccentric shop assistant, played by Rowan Atkinson, who insists on playfully gift-wrapping the jewellery while his wife Karen (played by Emma Thompson) closes in.

Emma Thompson was a close friend and frequent co-star to Rickman. Of all the tributes paid by co-stars and friends in the past few days, it is hers given to the New York Times that is perhaps most touching.

It ended; “He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.”

Rest in peace, Alan.  Thank you for the wonderful work that you left us with.