Emma Thompson has delivered the warmest, most heartbreaking of tributes to her frequent on-screen collaborator, Alan Rickman, who passed away after a cancer battle on Thursday.
"Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye," Thompson, who played Karen, wife to Rickman's Harry in 2003's Love Actually, wrote in a statement.
"What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. His capacity to fell you with a look or lift you with a word.
"The intransigence which made him the great artist he was - his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view.
"I learned a lot from him."
Thompson co-starred with Rickman in several films, including period classic Sense and Sensibility (1995), his directorial debut, The Winter Guest (1997), the middling thriller Judas Kiss (1998) and Love Actually (2003). They appeared alongside one another in three Harry Potter films (2004, 2007 and 2011).
She and Rickman also played ex-lovers in the Emmy-nominated play The Song of Lunch (2010).
"He was the finest of actors and directors," Thompson continued, "I couldn't wait to see what he was going to do with his face next.
"I consider myself hugely privileged to have worked with him so many times and to have been directed by him.
"He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics. I trusted him absolutely.
"He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again."