Actor Alan Rickman died today at the age of 69. The London-born actor was primarily a stage performer, studying Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as a young man and rising to prominence in 1987 following a Tony-nominated Broadway turn in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. But, for most pop-culture junkies, he was something else: the ultimate, enunciative movie villain.
Though Rickman earned raves for a variety of screen roles -- the romantic lead in Sense and Sensibility, heartbreaking specter in Truly Madly Deeply, and the Spock-like Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest are worth seeking out -- his scheming bad guys always had a tight grip on the public imagination. Through commitment, intensity, and that famous tight-lipped sneer, he conjured both empathy and disdain for some of the most dastardly characters we’ve ever seen. In celebration of Rickman’s long career, here are some of his best villainous roles.