He has played many iconic roles over the years, starting of course with one of my personal favourites, Tybalt in the 1978 TV movie of Romeo and Juliet, resplendent in beige tights and pudding basin haircut, when the world first realised a true performer was among us.
Since then he moved on to far greater things, becoming well known for his portrayal of villains, the nefarious Hans Gruber in Die Hard and later the terrifying Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.
His talent was undeniable and his dry delivery and perfectly English sense of humour will be sorely missed, yet at the same time enjoyed by many generations to come.
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family at this sad time.
“I’m pissed off, is what I am! Do you go around drenching everybody that comes into your room with flame-retardant chemicals? No wonder you’re single.”