Legendary British actor Alan Rickman passed away at the age of 69, sources confirmed Thursday.

The star was sick with cancer, acccording to the Hollywood Reporter.

"The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends," said his family in a statement obtained by the news site.

The London-born actor was beloved in both Britain and the United States. He was particularly known for his villainous and sinister roles, such as Hans Gruber in "Die Hard" and Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" film series.

Other notable characters Rickman portrayed include Col Brandon in "Sense and Sensibility," Alexander Dane a.k.a. Dr. Lazarus in "Galaxy Quest," and the Sheriff of Nottingham in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," for which he won a BAFTA.

Though Rickman never secured the coveted Oscar award, he also won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for his starring role in the HBO television movie, "Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny."

Last year the iconic actor was honored at a BAFTA event, during which he reflected on how he found his first breakout role in "Die Hard" after just two days in Los Angeles.

"I didn't know anything about L.A. I didn't know anything about the film business," Rickman said, according to the New York Times. "I'd never made a film before, but I was extremely cheap." Initially, the then-stage actor scoffed at the idea of an action role, but was glad he did it in retrospect.

Rickman also enjoyed a successful career in theater, earning a Tony nomination for his role as Vicomte de Valmont in the Broadway production of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses."

Several friends and associates expressed their shock and sorrow at the tragic news.