- Knew he wanted to be an actor at age 7, but was a gifted artist and illustrator, so he decided to pursue a career in graphic design at first.
- Worked as a graphic designer at radical newspaper, the Notting Hill Herald, and cofounded the London-based design company Graphiti.
- At 26, he left his design firm after he was accepted to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
- Joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1985 and originated the role of Le Vicomte de Valmont in a West End production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses; he reprised the role on Broadway in 1987.
- First big-screen role came with a villainous turn opposite Bruce Willis in the 1988 action blockbuster Die Hard.
- Named British Actor of the Year at the 1991 London Film Critics Awards for a variety of roles, including the notorious Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
- Became Vice Chairman of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2003.
- 1992, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner
- 1996, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor for a Miniseries or a Special: Winner
- 2002, Tony — Actor (Play): Nominee
- 2002, Olivier Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
- 1996, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Winner
- 1992, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
- 1987, Tony — Actor (Play): Nominee
- 2008, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Nominee
- 2004, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Nominee
- 1997, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 2013, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 1997, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Winner
- 2004, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
- 1996, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 1995, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- Margaret Rickman — Mother
- Rima Horton — Wife
- Bernard Rickman — Father
- David Rickman — Brother
- Sheila Rickman — Sister
- Michael Rickman — Brother
- Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, England (Graphic Design, 1967); attended Royal College of Art, London, England; Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, England (1974)
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