“Though they never met, Alan was a great friend to our daughter and sister Rachel,” the statement reads.
“He was the force for creation of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie. He did so much for Rachel’s legacy and for us, and through it all was a wonderful, present and kind friend,” the family adds.
Corrie was an American activist crushed to death in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah in 2003 by an Israeli soldier driving an American-built military bulldozer.
She had been trying to prevent the demolition of the home of a Palestinian family.
“We are left with amazing memories of this gifted, funny, generous, thoughtful, wise and courageous man,” Corrie’s family says of Rickman. “He is deeply loved and appreciated by our family and by so many others and will be missed immensely.”
In 2005, Rickman co-edited with Katharine Viner, produced, and directed the initial London run of My Name is Rachel Corrie, a play based upon the slain activist’s emails and other writings.
When asked recently to describe his proudest moment at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Rickman replied, as Viner recalled last week, that it had been ”when he took Rachel Corrie’s parents outside the front of the theater to show them their late daughter’s name in neon lights.”
Following its London run, the play was set to be staged at the New York Theatre Workshop, which “indefinitely” postponed and eventually canceled the production.
Rickman himself told The Guardian that the cancellation was an act of “censorship born out of fear.”
“Rachel Corrie lived in nobody’s pocket but her own,” Rickman said. ”Whether one is sympathetic with her or not, her voice is like a clarion in the fog and should be heard.”
My Name is Rachel Corrie has been staged by dozens of professional and amateur theater companies all over the world.