Peaky Blinders actress Helen McCrory has died at the age of 52

Friday, 16th April 2021, 6:50 pm
Helen McCrory has died at the age of 52 (Getty Images)

Helen McCrory, known for her roles in Peaky Blinders and Skyfall has died at the age of 52.

Husband and fellow actor Damian Lewis announced the news of her death via social media saying that she “died peacefully at home”.

She passed away after “a heroic battle with cancer”.

Lewis paid tribute to his wife saying that “she blazed so brightly”.

Tirbutes paid to McCrory

Damian Lewis, who wed McCrory in 2007, wrote: “I’m heartbroken to announce that after an 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.”

Actor Jim Howick, who worked with Helen McCrory and her husband Damian Lewis on the 2015 comedy film Bill, tweeted: “This is so shocking and sad. Helen along with Damien were both terrific fun on Bill.

“She was so generous with her time and her performance. I urge everyone to listen to her Desert Island Disks. What a talent we have lost.”

Rev Richard Coles was among those paying tribute. He wrote on Twitter: “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.”

Actor and director Noel Clarke said: “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.”

From Macbeth to the Peaky Blinders

McCrory was born in Paddington, London, to a Welsh mother and Scottish-born father and was the eldest of three children.

She attended school in Hertfordshire, then spent a year living in Italy, before returning to London to study acting at the Drama Centre.

Helen McCrory’s career stretched back to the early nineties, earning recognition for her performance as Rose Trelawny in Trelawny of the 'Wells' at the National Theatre, while also making appearances on stage in Macbeth and Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.

It was her performance in gangster drama Peaky Blinders in the 2010s that would endear her to a wider audience, performing as the formidable female head of a ruthless Birmingham gang alongside Cillian Murphy.

She is also well known for her turn as Cherie Blair in 2006 Oscar winner The Queen and as Narcissa Malfoy, the mother of Draco, in the Harry Poter series.

She is remembered by her husband Damian Lewis and children Gulliver and Manon.