The death of Alan Rickman, Severus Snape, in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies, has been a stunning blow to the entertainment world. You can watch his final television interview here. It’s a lighthearted, and now, bittersweet, segment on ‘The Tonight Show’ which sees him inhale helium with Jimmy Fallon.
And of course, who knew it would be the last time Alan Rickman would give a television interview. It was five months before his sudden and untimely death at age 69 from cancer. At the time, the video had gone viral. The sheer novelty of hearing the deep voiced actor speaking in a squeaky helium voice is just irresistible. It’s not the first time that Jimmy Fallon has inhaled helium with his guests; Morgan Freeman brought his famously bass-baritone voice up several octaves.
Yes, now months later, this is the last television appearance of the actor that many have admired for decades, since his unforgettable debut opposite Bruce Willis in ‘Die Hard.’ Really who can forget that villainous character Hans Grubner with his droll disdain for all things American. Others remember him from such classics as ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply.’
Rickman was making a typical late-night television appearance in the U.S. on The Tonight Show,’ his comedic talent and wit on full display as he arrived on set with two balloons. By way of explaining such an odd sight, he told host Jimmy Fallon and the audience, “Well, the last time I was on this show, you asked if I was aware that people impersonated me. Then the very next night, Benedict Cumberbatch and you had what it is described as a Rickman-off.
He went on to say of the helium balloons, “Now apparently, these are the Jimmy Fallon truth-telling machines. So, I want to know what you have to say about that.”
The two then began inhaling helium, with Fallon telling the actor, “I’m very sorry you were offended, and welcome to the show.” And several octaves higher they began to talk about the Harry Potter movies and a transcription never does sudden high-pitched voices justice; you just have to see it below. It will evoke laughter and perhaps a tear or two.
Five months ago, he seemingly was in the proverbial prime of life, and now, in the early days of a New Year we’re saying goodbye to him, just days after the news of the death of another legendary artist, David Bowie. Tributes from those who have worked alongside him have been countless. Among them , JK Rowland, of course, along with Daniel Radcliffe and many others; Actors, celebrities, public figures taking to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to pay tribute.
Posthumously, we’ll see him in the thriller “Eye In The Sky” with co-stars Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul. But for now, in what’s become again a viral video, you can see the late great Alan Rickman inhaling helium in the video below.