Alan Rickman died aged 69 in 2016 from pancreatic cancer and shortly before that he married Rima Horton.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on September 14, 2020. It has since been updated.
Being able to call the person you love your spouse may not be a priority for everyone. For some people, their love is enough. What matters is the depth of the feelings and not the labels. Actor Alan Rickman and his partner, Rima Horton, showed that marriage was not a necessity for their love to flourish but they did it anyway, not to prove anything to anyone, but to ease his last months on this planet.
Rickman became a global name after playing Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise. He died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 69 in 2016 but before passing away he married his partner of 50 years and left more than $5 million to her, as per Express UK. They reportedly wed after his diagnosis, after which it didn't take long for him to succumb to the disease. He died on January 14, 2016.
Rickman grew up in a poor household and was raised by a single mom after his father died of cancer, just like him. He was the second oldest of four siblings, according to the Guardian. He believed that: "We are who we are. The sum of the lack we have."
As an adult though, there was no lack of love in his life. Rickman and Horton had been together since he was 19 and she 18 but they got married after more than 40 years together. They had been living together since 1977 and had no children. Rickman was asked in April 2015 about the secret to his keeping his relationship alive without getting married and that's when he revealed to German newspaper Bild that they wed recently.
"We are married. Just recently. It was great because no one was there. After the wedding in New York we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and ate lunch," he said. The Harry Potter actor added that he bought Rima a ring for $200, "which she never wears."
He may have played villainous characters on screen but in real life, he was a romantic. The actor never shied away from singing praises of his politician partner. Rickman told HELLO! in 2015, "I think every relationship should be allowed to have its own rules. She's [Rima's] tolerant. She's incredibly tolerant. Possibly a candidate for sainthood."
Horton, an active member in the U.K.'s Labour Party, and an economics lecturer at Kingston University, met Rickman when they studied at the Chelsea School of Art together. She was his first girlfriend, according to HuffPost.
As devoted as he was, he didn't mince words about his relationship. "We're just as messy and complex as any other couple, and we go through just as many changes. But I really respect her. Rima and I can sit in a room just reading, and not saying anything to each other for an hour, then she'll read something to me and we'll both start giggling," he said.
The actor, an outspoken feminist, wanted children with his partner but didn't have any to respect Horton. "You should remember I am not the only one involved," he told the Guardian's Susie Mackenzie in 1998. "There is another person here. I would have loved a family. Sometimes I think that in an ideal world, three children, aged 12, 10, and eight, would be dropped on us and we would be great parents for that family."
Even though he didn't have any children, he made sure that he took care of his family. He left most of his assets to his wife along with £25,000 ($32,189) each to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Sponsored Arts for Education, the Facial Surgery Research Foundation known as Saving Faces and the International Performers Aid Trust. He also gave £25,000 to each of his three nieces, according to Express UK. His also left a legacy sum to his three siblings David and Michael Rickman and Sheila Innes.