Acclaimed British actor Helen McCrory, who starred in franchise hits such as Harry Potter and Bond, has died from cancer at 52.
McCrory’s husband, Homeland and Billions star Damian Lewis posted the news.
He wrote: “I’m heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family.
“She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”
McCrory had a long career but is best known for roles in Peaky Blinders, as Narcissa Malfoy in three Harry Potter films, Penny Dreadful, Skyfall and played Cherie Blair in The Queen and The Special Relationship.
Her two most recent roles were in UK dramas Quiz and Roadkill.
McCory was born in London in 1968. She and Lewis married in 2007 and had two children, a daughter and a son.
McCrory did not publicly reveal her cancer diagnosis and as recently as six weeks ago made an appearance on Good Morning Britain to talk about charity work for the Prince’s Trust, reported the BBC.
Tributes began to flow for McCrory as soon as the news broke, including from the many productions she had worked on over the years.
Welsh actor Michael Sheen, who played Tony Blair to her Cherie in The Queen and The Special Relationship, wrote: “So funny, so passionate, so smart and one of the greatest actors of our time.
“From the first moment I met her when we were just kids it was obvious she was very special. It was an honour to work with her and know her. Much love to Damian and her family. Heartbreaking.”
Comedian Matt Lucas paid tribute to McCrory’s work for the NHS. He wrote on Twitter: “Helen McCrory will be remembered not just for her remarkable stage and screen performances but also for her selflessness and generosity. She and Damian were the motor driving FeedNHS, working tirelessly during the pandemic to raise millions for others. What a tremendous loss.”
Steven Knight, creator of Peaky Blinders said: “Helen was one of the great actors of her generation. She was so powerful and controlled and this is so sad.”
Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy said he was “broken-hearted to lose such a dear friend”, and called her “a beautiful, caring, funny, compassionate human being”.
“She was also a gifted actor – fearless and magnificent. She elevated and made humane every scene, every character she played.”
The sixth and final season of Peaky Blinders is currently in production, it’s unclear if McCrory filmed any scenes before her death.
More to come.