Actress Helen McCrory, best known for her performances in Harry Potter and Peaky Blinders, has died of cancer. April 16, 2021, will remain in the sad memory of her family, friends, co-workers, and fans, who had to say goodbye to the acclaimed and awarded actress whose life and work will forever be cherished.
The news of Helen’s death was announced by her husband Damian Lewis on his Twitter account, adding that the actress died as she lived – fearlessly. “The beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from family and friends,” said Lewis in his announcement. This prompted a series of tweets and social media posts, and tributes by Helen’s colleagues. The creator and author of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, was among the first to express her sorrows and condolences to Helen’s family.
Other colleagues quickly followed, expressing their condolences, with nothing but words of praise for Helen and her work. The actress was born in August 1968, in London, where she studied acting at Drama Centre, after a one-year stay in Italy. She’s best known for many plays and movies, and her most notable works include the Harry Potter movie franchise and critically acclaimed Peaky Blinders.
Her breakout role was as Anna Karenina in 2000’s TV adaptation of a classical novel. She would later star in various plays, TV, and film, winning multiple awards in the U.K. The younger generations will likely remember Helen as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, the mother of Drake Malfoy. She was initially cast as Bellatrix Lestrange, a British witch fanatically loyal to Lord Voldemort, but had to pull away from the role when she became pregnant in 2007. Instead, she later portrayed Bellatrix’s younger sister Narcissa. Afterward, the actress appeared in a Doctor Who episode called “The Vampire of Venice,” with other appearances in different titles, like Penny Dreadful, Life, and Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking.
Apart from her fantastic performance in Harry Potter, McCrory is perhaps best known for her performance of Aunt Polly in a crime drama television series Peaky Blinders. Though already an acclaimed villain, McCrory’s performance as Shelby’s family matriarch and the treasurer of the Birmingham criminal gang was exceptional, to say the least. The Peaky Blinders official Twitter account also shared a tribute to the late actress.
Her acting skills even merited her appointment as the Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 New Year Honors for her services to drama. But Helen was much more than just an Officer of the Most Excellent Order. She was an honorary patron of the London children’s charity Scene & Heard, as well as a supporter of the NHS, and helped raise over £1 million ($1.38 million) to provide NHS workers with meals during the coronavirus pandemic.
Helen McCrory will forever be remembered for her exceptional theater and film performance and her selflessness and generosity.