Helen McCrory dead aged 52: Peaky Blinders actress dies after secret cancer battle

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Helen McCrory has died at the age of 52 (Picture: Getty)

Actress Helen McCrory has died at the age of 52.

The Peaky Blinders star’s death was confirmed by her husband, Damian Lewis.

In a statement posted on Twitter, he wrote: ‘I’m heartbroken to announce that after a 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.’

The actress was one of the UK’s most beloved stars, appearing highly acclaimed across TV, film and theatre throughout her life.

Helen was beloved as Aunt Polly on Peaky Blinders (Picture: BBC)

Helen is well-known for her roles including the swift-talking and no-nonsense Aunt Polly on Peaky Blinders – the matriarch of the Birmingham gangsters – and Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter film franchise.

She also appeared in beloved dramas including MotherFatherSon, Quiz, Penny Dreadful, James Bond’s Skyfall and Messiah.

narcissa malfoy dealthy hallows
The star played Draco Malfoy’s fiercely protective mother Narcissa in Harry Potter (Picture: Warner Bros)

In 2019, she joined the all-star cast of His Dark Materials, voicing Stelmaria, the daemon of James McAvoy’s Lord Asriel

In theatre, she won the Richard Burton Award For Most Promising Newcomer at the 1995 Shakespeare Globe Awards for her role as Lady Macbeth in Macbeth.

Other theatrical credits include Les Enfants Du Paradis, Uncle Vanya, As You Like It, Medea and Deep Blue Sea. 

helen mccrory and damian lewis
Helen was married to Damian Lewis for 14 years (Picture: Getty)

Alongside Michael Sheen, Helen also founded The Public, a theatrical production company with works at Liverpool Everyman, The Ambassadors and the Donmar.

She married Homeland star Damian Lewis in 2007, and together they have two children – daughter Manon McCrory-Lewis, 14, and son Gulliver, 13.

The pair met while performing Five Gold Rings together at London’s Almeida Theatre.

Speaking about their relationship, Helen said: ‘He just made me laugh a lot. And still does.

‘Of course, everyone in life wants someone to love and be loved by, but I think I was always just engrossed and involved in work.

‘The timing was pure fluke, pure chance, it always is, isn’t it?”

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