'Peaky Blinders' star Helen McCrory dies aged 52

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·3 min read

Watch: Actress Helen McCrory dies aged 52

Peaky Blinders actor Helen McCrory has died at the age of 52 following a private battle with cancer.

Her husband and fellow actor Damian Lewis released a statement confirming the news saying the Skyfall and Harry Potter star had died peacefully at home.

The statement, shared on Twitter, said: "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."

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: (L-R) Helen McCrory and Damian Lewis attend the
Helen McCrory and husband Damian Lewis (Getty Images)

"She died as she live. 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."

Born in London in 1968, McCrory married Lewis in 2007. They have two children together – daughter Manon, 14, and son Gulliver, 13.

McCrory was awarded an OBE in 2017 for services to drama, and recently had been raising money for the Feed NHS charity, raising £1m in 2020.

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After studying acting at the Drama Centre in London, McCrory made her film debut in 1994's Interview With The Vampire, and has many film roles to her name including Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series, Cherie Blair in The Queen, and MP Clair Dowar in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall.

Her TV roles include Polly Gray in the BBC's Peaky Blinders, Madame Kali in Penny Dreadful, and more recently Sonia Woodley QC in the TV drama Quiz.

Recent Bafta recipient Noel Clarke was among those paying tribute online, writing: "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." 

Actor Angela Griffin said the news had floored her, tweeting: "My thoughts with all of her friends and family. What a women, [SIC] what an actor. Such a loss." 

League of Gentlemen star Reece Shearsmith, who cast McClory in his TV anthology series Inside No. 9 called it "an unfathomable loss".

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Talking about her marriage to Lewis in 2013, McCrory told the Guardian: "I never daydreamed as a little girl of getting married and having children. I was as surprised to discover I was getting married as I was to discover I was up the duff. 

"When I fell pregnant, Damian sold his house, I sold mine. We sold his car [she didn't have one, and is only now learning to drive], moved into a new place, unpacked 87 boxes and went down to St Mary's [hospital] Paddington – all in nine months."