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“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,” wrote Damian Lewis. “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 and Lewis married in 2007 and have two children together.
Since the ’90s, McCrory has been a mainstay across stage, TV, and film. She was particuarly well-loved in the UK theater scene, and won a London Evening Standard award in 2002. In the final three Harry Potter films, starting with 2009’s Half-Blood Prince, she portrayed Narcissa Malfoy. One of her most famous roles came in 2013 when she portrayed Shelby family matriarch Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders.
“Helen’s performance as Polly Gray was inspirational, joyous, transgressive, hilarious and incredibly moving,” the Peaky Blinders Twitter account shared. “As a person she was off-the-scale charismatic, and deeply caring. We feel so priviledged to have worked with her over the last decade. All our thoughts and love are with Damian and family.”
London’s National Theatre also shared a tribute to McCrory, highlighting some of her most memorable stage roles.
Wizarding World, the official Twitter account for Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, shared a statement on McCrory’s passing. "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,” Wizarding World’s message reads. “She was a wonderful actor and a very dear friend; Harry Potter fans will miss her very much."