Alan Rickman is just a class act.
The actor, who has played everything from the Sherrif of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves to the Metatron in Dogma and Hans Gruber in Die Hard. The man is a consummate professional, and is always good in whatever role he plays.
That is why I was so happy to hear ten years ago that he was cast in the role of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movie franchise. While it is not the best role in the majority of the books, his presence is always felt (which is an ideal role for Rickman). In fact, he is almost completely absent from both the films Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince & Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One. But, the role has such a bog payoff at the end, that not many actors would be able to pull it off.
If there was any doubt in your mind, cast it aside now!
Rickman wrote a very touching letter to Empire Magazine expressing his feelings on ending a ten year journey, and it perfectly encapsulates everyone who has fallen in love with the characters (through the books and movies) over the years.
There is nothing to add, but simply reading it below: