"F*** you cancer, the real-world Voldemort," succinctly tweets New York Post's Tim Donnelly of the news that British film and theatre icon Alan Rickman has died at just 69 from cancer. "One of the few fine actors who would always, always steal the show," posits Alastair Reid with First Draft News. "One of my favourite actors. He could do disdainful irritation like no one else," observes Vancouver Sun's Tara Carman. He was "an actor of singular charm and hypnotic charisma," The Guardian declares. Quoting from another Guardian piece on his passing, David Firn with the Financial Times tweets, "Audiences would leave the theatre wanting to have sex 'and preferably with Alan Rickman'." Reciting a "Galaxy Quest" line made famous by Rickman, Brian Proffitt shares, "By Grabthar's hammer, by the Sons of Warvan, you shall be... very missed. RIP." Plenty were in denial, too. "I refuse to believe Alan Rickman died of cancer. John McClane threw him out of the Nakatomi Tower," similarly insists Conor Dougherty, responding to the New York Times tribute to Rickman. "Wait. No. Stop. Come back," was all BuzzFeed's Saeed Jones could tweet.
For Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner, however, this loss was much more personal. "Devastated by the news that my friend, the wonderful actor Alan Rickman, has died of cancer at the age of 69," Viner tweets, before continuing, "By me: Alan Rickman: the most loyal, playful and generous of friends." Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn reacts, "This Alan Rickman tribute. Love that he refused to do selfies." Many journalists also were quick to point out we lost David Bowie and Rickman at exactly the same age, to the same disease, within the same week. "Two British national treasures in one week; that's just too much," concludes France 24's Annette Young. "1. NOOOO 2. What is it with famous people dying at age 69 these days?" laments Andrea Garcia-Vargas at Discovery News. "Oh no! Not Alan Rickman too. Gutted. The stage lights have gone down on too many greats already this January," grieves PR Week's Ian Griggs. "1) Donate more time/money/resources to help beat cancer. 2) Re-watch Sense & Sensibility," resolves Huffington Post's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. "Let's hug our 69-year-old most-treasured celebrities extra close today," advises FT's Mary Childs.
There were other things that happened over night and today. We learned that a Wall Street loan helped ease Ted Cruz’s Senate bid in 2012, contrary to some earlier stories Cruz told. The Nation made an exceedingly rare endorsement (of Bernie Sanders). A former Bush and Reagan staffer publicly vowed to never vote for Donald Trump. The winning Powerball numbers were revealed to everyone who stayed up all night clutching their tix. Adele did some karaoke. United Airlines is on a quest to be less awful. New York's L-train might be shut down for years. And the Oscar nominations were announced. But all we can think about is the fact that the Oscar "in memoriam" video will be a little too long this year.