The world is reeling from the loss of another titanic 69-year-old artist: Alan Rickman. Guardian News & Media editor in chief Katharine Viner begins her warm remembrance of the man, the artist and her friend with this cheeky lede. Which he would have loved:
My friendship with the great actor and director Alan Rickman did not have a particularly auspicious start.
It was March 2003 when Alan turned up at London’s Royal Court theatre, clutching an edition of the Guardian’s G2 section featuring the powerful last emails of Rachel Corrie, the American activist killed by a bulldozer in Gaza. Alan had recognised that Rachel’s voice could work brilliantly on stage, and I was commissioned to help him turn her words into a play.
From this starting point came the acclaimed play My Name Is Rachel Corrie. Viner’s wonderful tribute also includes this description of Rickman’s approach to friendship:
Alan had a great gift for friendship. He was devoted to a large number of people and would somehow always manage to visit their obscure art exhibition, or phone them at 2 a.m. when he heard they were in deep trouble, or attend their opening night even when, as we now know, he was already seriously ill. He threw dinners; he ordered every dessert on the menu if you couldn’t decide.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Alan Rickman’s Quiet New York Wedding