Peaky Blinders, Harry Potter Actress Dead at 52

Helen McCrory was married to actor Damian Lewis
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2021 2:41 PM CDT
Helen McCrory Wanted to 'Be an Interpreter'
Actors Helen McCrory and Damian Lewis appear at the premiere of "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood" in London in 2019.   (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP, File)

Helen McCrory, a British actress who appeared in three Harry Potter films, the Peaky Blinders TV series, and more than 25 plays, has died. Her husband, actor Damian Lewis, made the announcement Friday on Twitter. "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," he wrote, "surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family." JK Rowling, author the Harry Potter books, called it "simply heartbreaking news," the BBC reports. McCrory, 52, played Narcissa Malfoy, the wife of Lucius Malfoy and mother of Draco, in three films. In the BBC series Peaky Blinders, McCrory had the role of Polly Gray, the Shelby matriarch, for all five seasons. Her stage appearances included Macbeth, Pride and Prejudice, and As You Like It.

With fellow actor Michael Sheen, McCrory formed a stage production company. With Lewis, she raised money to supply medical workers with hot meals during the coronavirus pandemic, per the Guardian. Donations topped $1 million. When he met her when they were young, Sheen said, "it was obvious she was very special." McCrory once said she decided on her career after a school choir performance, singly loudly while an orchestra played. "It was a piece of music I would never ever be capable of writing, and I realized from a very young age I would never be original. I would never be a great artist," she said. "But what I could do is I could be part of another great artist's work. I could be an interpreter." (More obituary stories.)

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