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Helen McCrory death: Peaky Blinders’ Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill lead tributes to ‘dear friend’

Actor has died aged 52

Helen McCrory best moments

Helen McCrory, the stage and screen star known for her roles in the Harry Potter films and the BBC series Peaky Blinders, has died from cancer aged 52.

Actor Damian Lewis, who married McCrory in 2007, shared a statement on Twitter announcing that she had died peacefully at home after “a heroic battle with cancer”. McCrory’s cancer diagnosis had been kept private from the public.

“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 wrote in a Twitter post.

“She died as she lived,” he continued. “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.”

Tributes from her Peaky Blinders co-stars flooded in, with Cillian Murphy saying he was broken-hearted to lose a dear friend.

"Helen was a beautiful, caring, funny, compassionate human being,” Murphy said.

Sam Neill said she was “Riotously funny and so damn cool”.

“That brilliant woman- the greatest of actors. I so loved our time on #PeakyBlinders. She was witty, kind, skilled,” he said in a tweet.


Mark Gattis – whose work includes writing for series such as Doctor Who and Sherlock – has praised McCrory as “a genuine firecracker with an aching vulnerability” as well as a “wonderful actor and a wonderful woman”.

The comedian continued: “Thoughts with Damian and family. RIP.”

Annabel Nugent16 April 2021 17:56

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has paid tribute to McCrory in a new Twitter post.

Khan wrote that he is “so sad to hear this news”.

“Helen McCrory was an unparalleled talent and made a difference to many young Londoners through her charity work,” he added.

“I have fond memories of her helping us unveil the statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square. Sending love to her family.”

Khan accompanied his post with a photograph of the London-born actor delivering a speech at the statue’s reveal in 2018.

Annabel Nugent16 April 2021 18:06

Undercover star Adrian Lester has paid tribute to McCrory, writing that she has “gone far too soon”.

“Sending love and sympathy to Damien and the family,” wrote the actor.

Annabel Nugent16 April 2021 18:12

JK Rowling has paid tribute to McCrory, who starred as Narcissa Malfoy in the film adaptations of her Harry Potter novels.

“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,” wrote the author.

“My deepest condolences to her family, especially her husband and children. Simply heartbreaking news.”

Annabel Nugent16 April 2021 18:18

McCrory’s Harry Potter co-star Chris Rankin has lamented the “awful news”.

Rankin – who starred as Percy Weasley (Ron’s older brother) in the franchise – continued: “A sublime talent, and from the couple of brief moments our paths crossed whilst battling Hogwarts, a very lovely person. 52 is no age. Xxx.”

Annabel Nugent16 April 2021 18:24

The official Twitter account for HBO’s His Dark Materials has shared a post in honour of the late actor who had previously lent her voice to one of the show’s characters.

“We are saddened to hear about the passing of Helen McCrory, who voiced Asriel’s wonderful daemon Stelmaria. She will be greatly missed,” reads the post.

In the fantasy series – an adaptation of Philip Pullman’s trilogy of the same name – Stelmaria is the snow leopard daemon of James McAvoy’s Lord Asriel.

Annabel Nugent16 April 2021 18:31

Among McCrory’s notable film credits is her haunting turn as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise.

One of the character’s most iconic scenes is featured in the 2009 film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

In it, Narcissa is seen pleading with Professor Snape for his help after her son Draco has been tasked with killing Albus Dumbledore.

Watch the memorable scene here.

Helen McCrory stars in iconic Harry Potter scene as Narcissa Malfoy

Helen McCrory was perhaps best known for her role as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise.In this iconic scene from the 2009 film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince McCrory's character is seen pleading with Hogwarts teacher Severus Snape, after her son Draco has been tasked with killing Albus Dumledore.Snape offers to protect Draco and take responsibility for the assassination of Dumbledore off Draco's shoulders, should be fail in the task, by making an "unbreakable vow".McCrory died from cancer on Friday, a statement from her husband, actor Damian Lewis said, aged 52.

Annabel Nugent16 April 2021 18:35

In addition to her scene-stealing roles across film and TV, McCrory was renowned within the industry for her work on stage, with her performances in productions of Medea and Uncle Vanya earning particularly effusive acclaim.

Between the Oscar-winning biopic The Queen, lighter genre fare such as Skyfall and the British crime drama Peaky Blinders, McCrory’s credits are vast and impressive.

See here for 10 of the actor’s finest roles across film, TV and theatre.

10 of Helen McCrory’s best roles, from Harry Potter to Peaky Blinders

Actor won praise for her work across film, TV and the stage

Annabel Nugent16 April 2021 18:38

Damian Lewis, who married McCrory in 2007, paid a moving tribute to the actor in a Twitter note announcing her death on Friday.

“She died as she lived,” he wrote. “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.”

You can read the note in full here:

Damian Lewis pays touching tribute to ‘beautiful and mighty’ wife Helen McCrory

‘We love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives’

Clemence Michallon16 April 2021 18:55

JK Rowling and many more have paid tribute to McCrory, remembering her as a “sublime talent” and a “warm and caring person”.

Colin Baker, Chris Rankin, and Ben Willbond are among those who have paid homage to the actor after the news of her death broke on Friday.

You can read their messages here:

JK Rowling leads tributes to ‘extraordinary actress’ Helen McCrory

‘My deepest condolences to her family, especially her husband and children. Simply heartbreaking news’

Clemence Michallon16 April 2021 19:13

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