I received word this morning that the actor Alan Rickman has passed away at the age of 69. This is salient partly because my darling Jessa is one of several women in my life to have expressed a crush on him; I have been heard to mutter on more than one occasion, "Alan Rickman...how I loathe him." In truth, though, I admire his work, and more importantly, he does seem to have been an admirable man. For evidence, I cite his 50-year involvement with his wife, a London councillor—need I point out that long, stable relationships seem to be even more rare among actors and politicians than in the general population? Additionally, he seems to have been generous with his time to fans and generally beloved by his co-workers.
He was probably best known for portraying Severus Snape, but my favourite Rickman role was Col. Brandon in Ang Lee's version of Sense and Sensibility. I had hoped to embed a clip from the film, but can't seem to get it to work, so I'll simply suggest watching it in its entirety...as we will doubtless do this evening.
Jess was teary this morning, and apologised for the fact—needlessly, as I assured her. One of the oddities of celebrity is that one can be missed even by those one has never met. In this case, I suspect, the sense of loss is warranted not by the characters the man played, but by the character of the man.