Actor Helen McCrory has passed away from cancer aged 52, her husband Damian Lewis has announced.
On Friday, the famous actor - who married McCrory in 2007 - shared a statement on Twitter announcing that his wife died peacefully at home after 'a heroic battle with cancer', aged 52. Her cancer diagnosis had been kept private from the public.
'She died as she lived,' he wrote of his wife, with whom he shares two children. '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 actor was best known for her scene-stealing roles in the Harry Potter film series as Narcissa Malfoy, Polly Gray in the hit BBC series Peaky Blinders and Cherie Blair in The Queen (2006).
In 2006, the actor was nominated for a Laurence Olivier theatre award for her West End performance in a production of As You Like It, and a London Evening Standard award in Checkov’s Uncle Vanya.
In 2017, she collected an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for her services to drama. 'It was fantastic,' she said of her meeting with the Queen at the time.
Several of McCrory's fans and former colleagues have since paid tribute to the actress.
'So sad to say farewell so suddenly - I never took the chance to tell her , but she helped shape me as a person so much - on & off screen,' Harry Potter star Tom Felton, who played McCrory's son Malfoy in the film franchise, wrote on Instagram. 'She was always relentlessly herself- razor sharp wit - silver tongued - kind & warm hearted - she suffered no fools yet had time for everyone - thank you for lighting the way forward & holding my hand when I needed it xx. [sic]'
Actor Jason Isaacs, who portrayed McCrory's character's husband Lucius, wrote on the social media platform: 'Decades ago Helen and I auditioned together for a film. I came home and said to Emma [Hewitt] "I think I've just met the greatest actress I've ever seen." After years of watching her mesmerise audiences I don't think that any more...I know it.
'Luckily, I eventually found out that she was also scabrously funny, shockingly naughty and with an empathetic heart the size of a planet. As continually starstruck as I was on the Harry Potter films, being screen-married to and giggle with the great Helen McCrory will always be a highlight. Her proudest achievement, though, was building and loving the family that was her bedrock. They've lost so much and I send all my love to Damian and the kids.'
Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling tweeted: 'I’m devastated to learn of the death of Helen McCrory, an extraordinary actress and a wonderful woman who’s left us far too soon. My deepest condolences to her family, especially her husband and children. Simply heartbreaking news. [sic]'
Actor Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley, shared: 'Awful news about Helen McCrory. A sublime talent, and, from the couple of brief moments our paths crossed whilst battling Hogwarts, a very lovely person. 52 is no age. Xxx [sic]'
British actor Noel Clarke tweeted: 'RIP #HelenMcCrory you were the best and always lovely to me. It was a pleasure to work with you. Love ya. Blessings to Damian and the family. [sic]'
The Crown star Josh O'Connor commented on Lewis' tweet with a red love heart.
Our thoughts go out to the actor's family and friends.
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