Helen McCrory, a British actress who appeared in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” “Skyfall,” and “Peaky Blinders,” has died at the age of 52, the New York Post reported.
Her husband, Damian Lewis, announced that she died peacefully after a long battle with cancer.
“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,” Lewis tweeted.
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) April 16, 2021
“She died as she lived. Fearlessly,” Lewis wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Lewis shares two young children with McCrory, daughter Manon, 14, and son Gulliver, 13. According to the Sun, the couple married in 2007 after meeting on the production of “Five Gold Rings” at London’s Almeida Theatre in 2003.
McCrory was a well-known British actress who made a name for herself by playing a series of powerful and often terrifying women.
On ”Peaky Blinders,” she played the matriarch of a crime family, and in the “Harry Potter” films, she played Voldemort’s scheming ally Narcissa Malfoy.
McCrory starred as a human rights lawyer drawn into international intrigue in the TV thriller “Fearless” and played lawyer Cherie Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in the 2006 film “The Queen.” She also appeared in Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” and James Bond’s “Skyfall.”
McCrory was born in Paddington in 1968. She studied her craft at London’s Drama Centre and performed in stage productions before her film career took off with 1994’s “Interview With the Vampire” and 2006’s “The Queen.”
“I am broken-hearted to lose such a dear friend,” her “Peaky Blinders” co-star Cillian Murphy said in a statement to The Post. “Helen was 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. It was a privilege to have worked with this brilliant woman, to have shared so many laughs over the years. I will dearly miss my pal. My love and thoughts are with Damian and her family.”
“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling tweeted that she was “devastated to learn of the death of Helen McCrory, an extraordinary actress and a wonderful woman who’s left us far too soon.”
McCrory was “so funny, so passionate, so smart, and one of the greatest actors of our time,” said actor Michael Sheen, who played Tony Blair in “The Queen.”
Others remembered McCrory for her charitable work, such as her participation in FeedNHS, a movement to feed frontline health care staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Helen McCrory will be remembered not just for her remarkable stage and screen performances, but also for her selflessness and generosity,” comedian Matt Lucas tweeted. “She and Damian were the motor driving FeedNHS, working tirelessly during the pandemic to raise millions for others. What a tremendous loss.”