Helen McCrory, star of ‘Peaky Blinders’ and ‘Harry Potter,’ dies at 52

Helen McCrory, star of ‘Peaky Blinders’ and ‘Harry Potter,’ dies at 52

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Global News

Posted April 16, 2021 2:16 pm


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Helen McCrory is shown at the premiere of 'Their Finest' at the BFI Southbank in London on April 12, 2017.

Matt Crossick/PA Wire

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English stage and screen actor Helen McCrory, who appeared in several U.K. productions including Peaky Blinders, Skyfall and three Harry Potter films, has died at the age of 52.

McCrory’s husband, Damian Lewis, announced her death in a social media post on Friday.

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“Heartbroken to announce that after an 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,” he wrote in a Twitter post. “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.”

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The couple have two children together.


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Helen McCrory and Damian Lewis attend the ‘Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood’ U.K. premiere in Leicester Square, London on July 31, 2019.

Press Association

The London-born actor appeared in many well-known TV and film franchises over her career. She starred as Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders and Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, in addition to roles in Penny Dreadful, Vampires of Venice, Doctor Who and the James Bond film Skyfall. She also played former U.K. prime minister Tony Blair’s wife, Cherie, in The Queen and The Special Relationship.

McCrory also had extensive experience as a stage actor in London.

Her death triggered an outpouring of sympathy from her former creative collaborators.

“I’m devastated to learn of the death of Helen McCrory, an extraordinary actress and a wonderful woman who’s left us far too soon,” tweeted Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

I’m devastated to learn of the death of Helen McCrory, an extraordinary actress and a wonderful woman who’s left us far too soon. My deepest condolences to her family, especially her husband and children. Simply heartbreaking news.

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 16, 2021

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Helen McCrory as Polly Gray

All our love and thoughts are with Helen’s family.

Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/HBEg4Hz2Up

— Peaky Blinders (@ThePeakyBlinder) April 16, 2021

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.

— Matt Lucas (@RealMattLucas) April 16, 2021

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McCrory broke into film with 1992’s Interview with the Vampire. 

She won a London Evening Standard award for best actress in the stage play Uncle Vanya in 2002, and was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2006 for As You Like It.

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