Helen McCrory, Peaky Blinders & Harry Potter Star | Dead at 52
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Helen McCrory, Harry Potter And Peaky Blinders Star, Dead at 52

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BY April 22, 2021

Helen McCrory, Peaky Blinders and Harry Potter star, is dead at the age of 52 after a battle with cancer. She had a prolific acting career, with her more recent appearances in the HBO series, His Dark Materials, in which she voiced Lord Asriel’s (James McAvoy) dæmon Stelmaria, and the political drama Roadkill alongside Hugh Laurie.

A Natural Performer and Talent

McCrory grew up in Britain and studied acting at the Drama Center in London. She found a home on the theater stage and went on to earn several nominations for her performances, including a London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress (Elena in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya at the Donmar Warehouse) and a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award (Rosalind in Shakespeare’s As You Like It). Later, she made appearances in supporting movie and TV roles, such as Interview with the Vampire, The Queen, and James Bond’s Skyfall (which continues to go strong as the No Time to Die trailer was released in 2019). She became a part of the Harry Potter franchise when she was cast as Narcissa Malfoy for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, although she had originally been cast as Bellatrix Lestrange but had to drop out due to her pregnancy.

Helen McCrory, Peaky Blinders, And Bringing Polly Gray To Life


helen mcrory dead 52 peaky blinders Image via Netflix

While McCrory has played a part in numerous movies and TV shows, her most recent well-known role was probably as Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders. The show is loosely based on a real urban gang of the same name, who were active in England from the late 19th to early 20th centuries. The storyline follows the Peaky Blinders gang and their ambitious yet ruthless leader Tommy Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy). McCrory’s character, Polly Gray, is the matriarch of the Shelby family, aunt to the Shelby siblings, and advisor to Tommy Shelby in regards to the gang’s business. There were plans to have a Season 6 by the end of this year or the beginning of next year, but it’s unclear how McCrory’s death will play into the storyline.

Helen McCrory’s Life Remembered

Fans and colleagues alike can’t believe that Helen McCrory is dead because she was always so full of life. Those she touched in her career and in her personal life have been sharing their condolences and memories on social media. Her husband, actor Damian Lewis, shared his own words in the tweet announcing she’d passed away:

McCrory’s Peaky Blinders co-star, Cillian Murphy, shared this statement with the public:

I am broken-hearted to lose such a dear friend. Helen was a beautiful, caring, funny, compassionate human being. She was also a gifted actor – fearless and magnificent. She elevated and made humane every scene, every character she played. It was a privilege to have worked with this brilliant woman, to have shared so many laughs over the years. I will dearly miss my pal. My love and thoughts are with Damian and her family.

What was your favorite Helen McCrory role? Share your thoughts and remembrances in the comments below.

Featured image via BBC

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Keilin Huang is a freelance writer that likes the Oxford comma, reading from her neverending pile of books from the library, and Reeses peanut butter cups. She thanks her Dad for introducing her to his Superman comics and probably majored in Journalism because of Lois Lane. Contact her at [email protected]

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