This week, the world collectively mourns the losses of two beloved and irreplaceable British entertainers, musician/artist/fashion icon David Bowie and actor Alan Rickman. To celebrate their lives and work, here are a just a few of their varied appearances on the big and small screen, available to watch now on DIRECTV*.
The Prestige (2006)
In his last major film role, Bowie brought a unique presence to Nikola Tesla in Christopher Noland’s moody exploration of prestidigitation. One of our favorites.
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
Nicholas Roeg’s cult, sci-fi drama was based on the 1963 Walter Tevis novel and starred Bowie as a visitor from space (a regular theme throughout Bowie’s own work) who crashes on Earth in search of water to relieve his home planet’s drought. At the time of his death, Bowie had recently collaborated on an original musical based on the same novel entitled “Lazarus” Off-Broadway, starring Michael C. Hall.
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973)
D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary of and record of Bowie’s live concert album with his group, The Spiders from Mars captured at London’s famed Hammersmith Odeon. It was this performance that Bowie made his unexpected—and misunderstood—announcement that the show would be his last. Fans were relieved to discover he was referring specifically to his Ziggy Stardust persona.
VH1 Storytellers: David Bowie (2009)
In 1999, Bowie appeared on VH1’s popular live music series, performing tracks from ranging from his early 1960s material to his album, Hours.
Biography: David Bowie (2008)
A great primer for uninitiated and die-hard fan alike, Biography explores Bowie’s life and career.
Die Hard (1988)
In one of his most famous villain roles—and his first movie role—Rickman’s Hans Gruber was the perfect antagonist for Bruce Willis’ hero John McClane. Considered by many to be among the greatest action——and holiday—films, Die Hard introduced us to an unforgettable actor who clearly relished his work.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
While any of the Harry Potter films were worthy showcases for Rickman’s deliciously, is-he-bad-or-is-he-good Professor Snape, the final two installments of the series bring the story to a close and feature some of Rickman’s most emotionally affecting work.
Love, Actually (2003)
Considered by many a modern holiday classic, this star-studded, British romantic comedy showcased Rickman playing against his usual type as Harry, a likeable but imperfect husband tempted by his secretary.
Bottle Shock (2008)
In one his lesser-known films, Rickman played a wine expert searching California for a cheap wine to use in a blind taste test but stumbles across an expectedly fine wine he determines to get home to Paris.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013
In an unexpected departure, Rickman plays President Ronald Reagan in the decades-spanning story of a White House butler. While the film’s depiction of Reagan was criticized as inaccurate, Rickman’s performance stood out nonetheless.
*Note: some titles may require premium subscription or pay-per-view purchase to view.