25 Fun Facts About Alan Rickman

To think that I even have to write about Alan Rickman in the past tense is breaking my heart.  A true gem of a human being and one of the finest actors the stage and screen has ever seen, Alan Rickman was a brilliant and talented performer.  On the day he died, I just sat in my car and cried a long, ugly cry…for what was, what will never be…

Most people today know Alan Rickman from the Harry Potter franchise, but those die-hard (see?  See what I did there??) Rickman fans know he’s been around long before Severus Snape.

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A product of the theater, Rickman started acting in various plays in England before moving to America to star in his first Hollywood movie, Die Hard.  His deadpan humor, sultry voice, and Jimmy Stewart-like charm made him a favorite among his fans and colleagues.

I have been a fan of Rickman since I first saw him in Sense and Sensibility (easily one of my favorites!).  I loved his sad and loveable portrayal of one of my favorite Austen men, Colonel Brandon.  After SaS, he blew me away in Snowcake and, of course, there was no better choice for Snape in the Harry Potter films!

An actor who loved what he did because of the true passion of telling a story, Rickman wasn’t in it for the money or the fame…he didn’t care about the show or the awards or the hullabaloo of it all…he just truly, and honestly, loved acting.  He was selective with his roles, picking parts that meant something to him and that challenged him as a performer.  He was often typecast as a villain, which was ironic considering he was a man with a loving and giving heart.

Several of Rickman’s fellow actors and friends, namely Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, and Daniel Radcliffe, to name just a few, do nothing but sing his praises.  He was a man who loved fully and gave back in any way he could.  He was honest and true and grateful for what he was able to achieve in his short life.

Two days ago would have been Alan Rickman’s 70th birthday.  He had an all-too short acting career that only spanned about 30 years.  He brought some of our most memorable characters to life and he will remain in the hearts of those that loved and respected him…always.

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I’M NOT CRYING…YOU’RE CRYING!

 

25 Fun Facts About Alan Rickman

Rickman studied graphic design at The Royal College of Art in London in the late 1960’s.  He opened a studio in SoHo, called Graphiti, where he helped design book jackets, album sleeves, ads, and layouts for magazines.

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Rickman rarely, if ever, watched his own performances on screen.

He’s quoted as saying the Australian outback is the most beautiful place he’s ever visited.

Rickman was an avid bird lover.

Before his first motion picture role in Die Hard, Rickman was an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in The Tempest and Love’s Labour’s Lost.

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Rickman earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985.  When the play hit the big screen three years later as Dangerous Liaisons, John Malkovich played the role of Valmont.

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Rickman dated his teenage sweetheart, Rima Horton, from 1965 until 2012, when they got married in a super-secret ceremony, followed by a lunch date and a walk around New York.

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Horton was adamant against having children, though Rickman has stated several times that he would have liked to have had a family.

Rickman’s final job was doing a voiceover for the short film, This Tortoise Could Save a Life, for the Save the Children and Refugee Council.

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Rickman was also the Honorary President of the International Performers Aid Trust, an organization assisting artists and performers challenged by poverty.

In 1995, Rickman was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in Film History (#34) and was ranked again at #83 in 2007.

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Rickman did not start acting until he was almost 30 years old.

For his role as Severus Snape, J.K. Rowling told Rickman the fate of Snape’s character and of his love for Lilly before anyone else in the world knew.

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The sexy, languid tone of Rickman’s voice was the result of a speech impediment, caused by not being able to move his jaw properly.

Though several fans believe Rickman deserved at least ONE Oscar nomination, he never got one…and he didn’t care.  “Parts win prizes, not actors,” he said.  Rickman did, however, win a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award, a BAFTA Award and several others throughout his career.

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Even though he appeared in several plays in his lifetime, Rickman suffered from crippling stage fright.

Rickman was a student at Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, the same school attended by fellow Brit, Hugh Grant.

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Like his character in Bottle Shock, Rickman was a win connoisseur.

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Actor Tom Burke is Rickman’s Godson.

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Though J.K. Rowling has said that she even had Rickman in mind when writing the character of Severus Snape, Warner Brothers preferred Tim Roth for the role and only agreed to cast Rickman after Roth backed out in order to do Planet of the Apes.

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Rickman and Warwick Davis both starred in the Harry Potter films together (Warwick was Professor Flitwick).  The two also played the part of Marvin in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in 2005, Davis wearing the suit and Rickman providing the voice.

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His first role as Hans Gruber in Die Hard earned him a spot on the American Film Institute’s list of the “100 Best Villains” (he came in at #46).

alan rickman die hard Hans Gruber

J.K. Rowling wasn’t the only one inspired by Rickman.  Author Angela Pell stated that she wrote the role of Alex Hughes in Snowcake with Rickman in mind.  The character’s name was actually originally Alan, but Rickman convinced her to change it to Alex.

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Rickman said that the film Nashville was the one that ultimately changed his life and made him decide to be an actor.

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Rickman and fellow Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe remained very close up until Rickman’s passing.  Rickman would attend all of Radcliffe’s shows in London and New York and kept in touch with his co-star long after his filming on the series ended.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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2017 Printable Oscar Ballot

Well, award season is finally here!  The Oscars air on ABC this Sunday, February 26th…and I can’t wait!

Hosted by late-night sweetheart, Jimmy Kimmel, the 2017 Oscars are bound to be a riot…and there are some GREAT movies in the line-up this year.

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Now in my household, the Oscars are SERIOUS business.  We have themed foods, we dress in our most glamorous pajamas, and snuggle in to see the brightest stars on Hollywood walk the red carpet.

One tradition I’m thinking of starting this year is to have an Oscar ballot contest…to see who can pick the winners in each category.  My family and I used to play this all the time and it was always fun to see who won (usually my dad…probably out shear dumb luck!).

Though there was never a prize, I’m thinking of instituting one this year…suggestions are accepted!

If you want to have your own fun watching the 2017 Oscars, here is a free, printable ballot you can download and print and use to track your picks for all the Oscar categories.

Are you gonna tune in with me and watch the Oscars this Sunday?  Let me know what movie you’re hoping will win!

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT YOUR 2017 OSCAR BALLOT!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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There Are No Wrong Roads

wrong-roads

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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15 Amazing Margarita Recipes

Not like we ever NEED a reason to go out for happy hour, but this Wednesday…February 22…is NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY. A DAY OF MARGARITAS. TEQUILA FLOWING LIKE WATER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL, YOU GUYS.

drinking jon stewart alcohol happy hour margarita

Now it’s no secret that I love tequila. If a beer just won’t do and I need something stronger, tequila is my go-to. I love it straight and I love it mixed…just don’t you dare ruin that delicious liquid with your nasty drink mixes…just don’t do it.

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If you have to make a fruity, girly drink, baller up and make it! Margaritas are crazy easy to make and oftentimes only require five ingredients or less:

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Now let’s celebrate National Margarita Day the RIGHT Way…with tasty homemade cocktails that go down oh so easy and are great for us Midwestern folk who are just daydreaming of warm summer beaches and sunshine.

15 Amazing Margarita Recipes

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Pink Lemonade Margarita

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Strawberry Mango Margarita

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Champagne Lemonade Margarita

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Cranberry Margarita

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Mango Raspberry Margarita

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Blackberry Margarita

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Coconut Margarita

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Jalapeno Watermelon Margarita

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Blood Orange Margarita

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Skinny Champagne Margarita

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Cucumber Lime Margarita

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Peach Margarita

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Tropical Rum Margarita

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Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita

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Cantaloupe Margarita

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Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Big Little Lies Book Review

It’s a song we’ve all heard before…the rich and privileged are never what they appear to be.  Though they may look happy and beautiful on the outside, behind closed doors they’re just as troubled and tortured as the rest of us.  Clearly, money can’t buy happiness…but it certainly can buy a whole butt-load of drama.

In Big Little Lies, three privileged women, each very different from the other, are thrown together in a series of crazy events that leads to someone getting killed.  A guilty-pleasure chick lit book involving husbands, ex-husbands, mothers and daughters, school drama and suburban scandal, Big Little Lies is a fun treat that shocks and surprises you with little twists and turns that lead to one heck of an ending.

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Our three protagonists are Madeline, Celeste, and Jane.  Madeline is a force to be reckoned with.  She’s funny, biting, and passionate…a driving force in her social circle.  Her friend, Celeste, is suburban royalty.  Beautiful beyond compare, Celeste strives to be the queen of the school parent body.  Jane, a new-to-town single mom, is sad and conflicted and has secret doubts about her past life.  All three women have children in the local school, which is the glue that begins to join these women together.  However, when Madeline and Celeste decide to take sad little Jane under their wing and help get her accustomed to the ‘politics’ of their social circle, it becomes clear that Jane and her son bring along more baggage than they thought…and things quickly begin to spin out of control…

In their own ways, Madeline, Celeste, and Jane are all easy to love and easy to hate.  They all have their quarks, but it’s clear that their hearts are in the right place…and they’re all just trying to do what’s best for their families, in whatever way they can.  They each experience trouble at home and each deal with it in their own way.  Some fight back, some cower down, and some just ignore it completely.  But for as different as these three women are, they share one commonality:  they are all hiding something from each other.

Big Little Lies is a book that will have you guessing all the way until the end.  A classic who-dun-it murder mystery (with a touch of sparkly drama!), Big Little Lies is about the lies we tell our friends, the lies we tell our families, and – perhaps most hurtful of all – the lies we tell ourselves.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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29 Fun Facts about Abraham Lincoln

Besides Frank Sinatra, Abraham Lincoln was probably one of the most influential people in my life.  Of course I didn’t know him personally, but my deep desire to learn everything I could about this mysterious man shaped my life in ways I never thought possible.

It was my love of Lincoln that motivated me to watch a 90’s made-for-TV movie called Tad, starring Kris Kristofferson as Abraham Lincoln, Jane Curtin as Mary Todd, and a very young Bug Hall as Lincoln’s son, Tad.  At the beginning of the movie, there is a solo trumpet playing “Hail to the Chief”.  It was that rendition that inspired my 10-year-old self to take up trumpet…an instrument that would stay a part of my life throughout my entire education and beyond.  It became my goal to one day play “Hail to the Chief” for the President one day…still workin’ on that one 😉

My love of Lincoln also got me interested in history education and The Civil War, an educational path I almost took in college before switching to literature.  He got me interested in presidential history and the history of my own home state.  And, as an added little how do ya do, the most recent Lincoln movie starring Daniel Day Lewis hit theaters on my birthday.  Ka-wink-ee-dink?  I think not.

For as famous and well-known as Lincoln is today, he was a very secluded man, prone to depression and large bouts of sadness.  He was instrumental in shaping several of today’s laws and government organizations, and has been named several times as one of the best presidents the US has ever had.

He holds the record for many strange accolades, including being the tallest president, the president with the biggest feet, the only president to hold a patent, the first president to be photographed at his inauguration, the first president to be added to the US currency, the first president with a beard, and was the first president to be born outside the original 13 colonies.

He fought for women’s rights…he fought for equal rights…he fought against slavery and he fought for the common man.  He honored education, loved his children dearly, and served his country not just as the President, but in local government as well.  A few days ago we celebrated Lincoln’s 208th birthday…and as a little celebration, here are 29 Fascinating Facts about our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.

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29 Fun Facts about Abraham Lincoln

  1. Abraham Lincoln was a licensed bartender.
  2. Abraham’s son, Robert, was saved from a train accident by Edwin Booth, brother of his father’s killer, John Wilkes Booth.
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  3. Robert was also the only son of Abe Lincoln to live to adulthood.
  4. About 60 years ahead of his time, Abe was a firm believer that women should have the right to vote.
  5. Abe is among a large assortment of brilliant minds that do not own a college degree.  Others include Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs.
  6. Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on the same day.
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  7. According to his own journals, Abraham Lincoln dreamt of his assassination before it happened…as did Martin Luther King, Jr.
  8. When he was running for president, Abe received a letter from a young 11-year-old girl named Grace Greenwood.  In the letter, she told Abe that he would look much more dignified and presidential with a beard.  He took her advice…and won.
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  9. Abraham Lincoln has no confirmed living descendants.  The last known one, a great-grandson, died in 1985.
  10. So far, Lincoln is the tallest US president, standing at 6 foot 4 inches.  He also has the biggest feet of any US President, wearing a size 14 shoe.
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  11. Lincoln did indeed hold important documents and speech notes inside his tall black hat.
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  12. After being shot, Lincoln remained in a coma for 9 hours before succumbing to his injuries.
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  13. Though today his views would be considered more democratic, Lincoln was actually the first Republican elected to the US Presidency.
  14. Abe was also the first US President to be born outside one of the original 13 colonies.
  15. Lincoln was the first President to be photographed at his inauguration.
  16. He was also the first to appear on a US coin.
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  17. Lincoln was a huge fan of Shakespeare and quoted him often.  John Wilkes Booth, the man who killed Lincoln, was a famous Shakespearean actor and a personal favorite of Lincoln’s.
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  18. Lincoln is the only President to hold a patent.  He invented a device to free steamboats that ran aground.
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  19. He was also a man of simple tastes.  He didn’t drink, smoke, or chew tobacco…and he never drank inside The White House.
  20. It was Honest Abe himself who officially established Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
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  21. Lincoln loved cats.  His own cat, Tabby, had a place at The White House dinner table.  He also had a dog named Fido.
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  22. Defeated only once in about 300 matches, Lincoln was an accomplished wrestler in his day.  He’s enshrined as an “Outstanding American” in the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
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  23. The last piece of legislation Lincoln signed before his assassination was the creation of the Secret Service.
  24. Illinois may be known as “The Land of Lincoln”, but he didn’t move here until he was 21.  He was born in Kentucky and spent time in Indiana before eventually settling in Illinois.
  25. The Lincoln Bedroom in The White House was never really Lincoln’s bedroom.  He used the space as his personal office, meeting with Cabinet members and signing documents, including The Emancipation Proclamation.
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  26. There are more books written about Abraham Lincoln than any other American to date.
  27. Tom Hanks is a descendent of Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks.  Abe and Tom are very, very, very distant cousins.
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  28. Lincoln’s heterosexuality has been disputed on numerous occasions, as various biographers have claimed that Lincoln may have been homosexual or bisexual.  There are several stories about Lincoln sleeping in the same bed as some of his mail friends, though no actual concrete proof of Lincoln’s preferences have been unearthed as of yet.
  29. There are SEVERAL weird coincidences between Abe Lincoln and later President, John F. Kennedy.  Both were shot in the head on a Friday, both were elected to Congress exactly 100 years apart (1846/1946), both were elected to the presidency 100 years apart (1860/1960), both men’s successors were named Johnson (Andrew Johnson/Lyndon Johnson), both Johnson’s were born 100 years apart (1808/1908), both Lincoln and Kennedy were shot by a man with thee known names (John Wilkes Booth/Lee Harvey Oswald), both Lincoln and Kennedy contain seven letters, the names of both their assassins contain 15 letters, and Lincoln was shot in the Ford Theatre while Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln town car, made by Ford.
    Image result for abe lincoln, john f kennedy

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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12 Easy DIY Lip Scrubs

As a life-long trumpet player, I know all about taking care of your lips.  The cold, dry weather, the heat from the sun, it can all wreak havoc on your skin, especially your more sensitive areas on your face.

In the winter, I easily go through a few tubes of Chapstick before the season is over, but sometimes it just doesn’t do the trick.  When I need to bring out the big guns, I use lib scrubs.

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Lib scrubs are so amazing, and once you start, you’ll find it hard to stop.  Made using anything from sugar to coffee, these scrubs help remove the dead skin and dirt from your lips and leave them feeling super soft.

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While you can buy scrubs in a variety of flavors and styles, it’s just as easy to make them at home…and chances are you probably have everything you need in your pantry already.  So don’t fear the extreme weather…make your skin super soft with these easy DIY Lib Scrubs!

PS – you can also use these on your feet and hands, too!  We won’t tell!  😉

12 Easy DIY Lip Scrubs

  1. Honey Lip Scrub
  2. Raspberry Lemonade Sugar Scrub
  3. Vanilla Mint Lip Scrub
  4. Cotton Candy Lip Scrub
  5. Cinnamon Lip Scrub
  6. Mint Lemonade Lip Scrub
  7. Cucumber Mint Sugar Scrub
  8. Dark Chocolate Lip Scrub
  9. Rose Petal and Mint Lip Scrub
  10. Pineapple Lip Scrub
  11. Vanilla Peppermint Lip Scrub
  12. Lavender Vanilla Lip Scrub

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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