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Helen McCrory Remembered As A 'Shining Light' In Tributes


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Tributes have been paid to the star of stage and screen Helen McCrory, following her death at the age of 52.

The Peaky Blinders star’s husband, fellow actor Damian Lewis, announced the news of her death on Friday afternoon, writing that Helen had died following what he described as a “heroic 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,” he said.

“She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly.”


— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) April 16, 2021

Following the news, tributes have been shared on social media, including in a post on the Peaky Blinders account and official Baftas page.

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

We're sad to hear of the death of actor Helen McCrory. As well as fearless Polly Gray in BAFTA-winning Peaky Blinders, she was in 2007 Best Film BAFTA winner The Queen, amongst many other films and TV shows. pic.twitter.com/1CzeIIYfzE

— BAFTA (@BAFTA) April 16, 2021

Those who knew and worked with Helen have also been paying their respects, and sharing their memories of the much-loved actor and “shining light”:

Unbearable and unbelievable that Helen McCrory has gone. A genuine firecracker with an aching vulnerability. A wonderful actor and a wonderful woman. Thoughts with Damian and family. RIP

— Mark Gatiss ? (@Markgatiss) April 16, 2021

How terribly sad that we’ve lost Helen McCrory so young. She was one of the finest, most versatile and charming actors of her generation. The thoughts of all her many fans will be with Damian and the kids right now. RIP x

— Tony Robinson (@Tony_Robinson) April 16, 2021

Helen McCrory was fearless and brilliant. Her talent astounded me . She was a shining light and is so still.

— Elizabeth McGovern (@ElizabethMcGov) April 16, 2021

Impossible to process the mighty Helen McCrory has passed. I worked with Helen on stage and of course we were lucky enough to get her in "Inside No 9". She was always immaculate and brilliant. An unfathomable loss. RIP . pic.twitter.com/fbau6kywzW

— reece shearsmith (@ReeceShearsmith) April 16, 2021

Such a shock & loss to our community. Devastated to hear of Helens passing. A brilliant role model for all women & artistic integrity #HelenMcCrorypic.twitter.com/unR6lQF9sF

— sunetra sarker (@sarker) April 16, 2021

RIP #HelenMcCrory you were the best and always lovely to me. It was a pleasure to work with you. Love ya. Blessings to Damian and the family. pic.twitter.com/OPQQv0UZ0V

— Noel Clarke (@NoelClarke) April 16, 2021

I m really shocked so so sad I had the pleasure of meeting her and briefly worked with her , she certainly was a Tour de force , clever , charming and fierce and a brilliant actor my heart goes out to Damian and her family , bloody cancer I hate you !! https://t.co/7uQDK9SViN

— Michelle Collins (@missmcollins) April 16, 2021

Oh god no.
An incredible actress. This is desperately sad. I feel for her husband ⁦@lewis_damian⁩ and family. Sincere condolences. ❤️
Helen McCrory death: Actor dies from cancer, aged 52 - The Independent https://t.co/NDQRzcet0B

— Beverley Knight? (@Beverleyknight) April 16, 2021

News of Helen McCrory passing has just floored me. My thoughts with all of her friends and family. What a women, what an actor. Such a loss.

— Angela Griffin (@Angela_Griffin) April 16, 2021

@lewis_damian I am beyond saddened and shocked to hear of the passing of Helen McCrory an amazing talented woman who gave so much , my sincere condolences to all of her beautiful family ♥️

— Jo Malone CBE (@JoMaloneCBE) April 16, 2021

I’m absolutely gutted by the passing of Helen McCrory. Truly, one of the greats to have ever blessed our stages and our screens. Her talent and work was legendary and sublime. Sending love to all who knew her and was lucky enough to work with her. A true legend.

— Callum Scott Howells (@callumshowells) April 16, 2021

Farewell my old friend. ❤️ #helenmccrorypic.twitter.com/lY4hlsAI2j

— Neil Stuke (@NeilStuke) April 16, 2021

Devastated to hear of the death of Helen McCrory. A beautiful talented actress, with many wonderful performances behind her especially Peaky Blinders. My love and thoughts go to her family especially Damian.

— Christopher Biggins (@onebiggins) April 16, 2021

Very sorry to hear of the death of Helen McCrory, such a brilliant actor; heartfelt condolences to Damian Lewis, their children, and all who loved her. pic.twitter.com/NRlo3KPKWb

— Richard Coles (@RevRichardColes) April 16, 2021

The Twitter pages for Doctor Who and Harry Potter’s Wizarding World, two franchises Helen appeared in during her 30-year acting career, also paid their respects:

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved Helen McCrory, who played Narcissa Malfoy with such depth and brilliance in the Harry Potter film series. She was a wonderful actor and a very dear friend; Harry Potter fans will miss her very much. pic.twitter.com/wXexuxFNyG

— Wizarding World (@wizardingworld) April 16, 2021

We are sad to report the death of actress Helen McCrory, who starred in 'The Vampires of Venice' https://t.co/tIkFbO6uHNpic.twitter.com/vfdI8mWERz

— Doctor Who (@bbcdoctorwho) April 16, 2021

Helen will perhaps be remembered for her portrayal of Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders, having also acted in other TV dramas like Fearless, MotherFatherSon and Quiz.

Her big-screen credits include the James Bond film Skyfall and the final three Harry Potter films, in which she played Narcissa Malfoy.

Helen McCrory pictured in 2017

In addition to this, Helen has played Cherie Blair on two different occasions, first in The Queen and later in The Special Relationship. In both films, she acted opposite Michael Sheen as Tony Blair.

Sharing his own memories of Helen, Michael wrote: “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.”

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. https://t.co/gsBO5Fr1ev

— michael sheen ? (@michaelsheen) April 16, 2021

During her expansive career, Helen was nominated for two Olivier awards, for her roles in the plays As You Like It and The Last Of The Haussmans.

Helen is survived by her husband of 14 years, and their two teenage children.