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he became one of the most famous impostors ever, claiming to have assumed no fewer than eight separate identities as an airline pilot, a doctor, a U.S. Bureau of Prisons agent, and a lawyer. He escaped from police custody twice (once from a taxiing airliner and once from a U.S. federal penitentiary), before he was 21 years old.
He is a renowned stage actor in modern and classical productions and a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His breakout performance was as the Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Rickman is known for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series, Eamon de Valera in Michael Collins, and Metatron in Dogma. Rickman has also had a number of other notable film roles such as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply, P.L. O'Hara in An Awfully Big Adventure and Colonel Brandon in Ang Lee's 1995 film Sense and Sensibility. More recently, he played Judge Turpin in the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.