British actor Helen McCrory, who starred in the television show Peaky Blinders and the Harry Potter movies, has died at the age of 52 after a “heroic battle” with cancer, her husband Damian Lewis says.
McCrory, who also played the former wife of Tony Blair, Cherie, in the film The Queen and won a string of acting awards for her work on the stage and on television, had two children with the Homeland actor whom she married in 2007.
“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,” he said.
“She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we loved 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 was one of Britain’s most respected actors, rising to prominence after portraying a succession of formidable and sometimes fearsome women.
She played the matriarch of a crime family on Peaky Blinders and the scheming Voldemort ally Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies.
Actor Michael Sheen, who played Tony Blair in The Queen, said McCrory was “so funny, so passionate, so smart and one of the greatest actors of our time.”
Harry Potter author JK Rowling tweeted that she was “devastated to learn of the death of Helen McCrory, an extraordinary actress and a wonderful woman who’s left us far too soon.”
McCrory played the matriarch in period gangster drama Peaky Blinders.
Lewis is known in UK and the US for his role as Nicholas Brody in television drama Homeland and as Bobby Axelrod in Billions.