Helen McCrory: Peaky Blinders and Harry Potter actor dies, aged 52

Peaky Blinders and Harry Potter actor Helen McCrory has died from cancer. She was 52 years old.

McCrory’s husband, the actor Damian Lewis, released a statement on Twitter, reading: “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 was best known for her portrayal of Polly Gray in the British TV series Peaky Blinders, appearing in 30 episodes across the series. She also appeared as Narcissa Malfoy in three Harry Potter movies, starting with the Half-Blood Prince. 

Other well-known performances included an appearance in the James Bond movie, Skyfall, playing Evelyn Poole (Madame Kali) in the series Penny Dreadful, and, recently, portraying lawyer Sonia Woodley QC in ITV’s Quiz. McCroy was also a well-regarded stage actor, winning multiple awards, including the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for her portrayal of the title character in Medea.

Outside of acting, McCrory supported Feed NHS, a program that called on restaurants to offer food to NHS workers during the COVID pandemic and raised £1 million in 2020. Initially meant for only London, the program expanded across the UK. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2017.

McCrory’s cancer diagnosis had been kept private by herself and Lewis, with who she had two children.

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