Harry Potter author JK Rowling has expressed her shock and sadness at the news that Alan Rickman has died.
The Harry Potter author said she had "no words" to express how shocked and saddened she was to hear of the actor's death from cancer at the age of 69.
Rickman was best known for a generation of cinema goers for playing Rowling's Harry Potter potions master Severus Snape in the big screen adaptation of the Harry Potter book series.
Rickman was entrusted with the secret of Snape's story before the book series had even finished.
Potter producer David Heymon told the LA Times how Rickman used to use this knowledge to his advantage while on set: “It was quite amusing, too, because there were times when a director would tell Alan what to do in a scene and he would say something like, ‘No I can’t do that – I know what is going to happen and you don’t.
“He had a real understanding of the character and now looking back, you can see there was always more going on there – a look, an expression, a sentiment — that hint at what is to come.. the shadow that he casts in these films is a huge one and the emotion he conveys is immeasurable.”