Alan Rickman, who died today at the age of 69, had a wide range of roles over a long and storied career. He achieved action-figure status as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies, in which he perfected the art of speaking without moving his lips. And as a young British character actor, he starred in a series of charming British indies, most notably Truly, Madly, Deeply. But to people of a certain age, lets face it: He's always going to be Hans Gruber, the bad guy from the original Die Hard.
And as that bastard European mastermind criminal, his best scene—and it is one of the best in all action movies—is what I call "the fall." Here it is in all its glory, including his fabulous enunciation of John McClane's catchphrase, "Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker," which stands as the best reading of the line in the whole franchise.
The look of surprise on face while falling—for which he actually fell forty feet—was so good that for years rumors circulated that the producers had dropped him on the two count in a three-count drop. In a Q&A from 2009, he explained how he achieved that perfect effect: good acting and dedication. No tricks, just great performance. That was Alan Rickman.
Also read Alan Rickman's Best Quotes.