British actor Helen McCrory has died at 52 after “an heroic battle with cancer,” her husband, fellow actor Damian Lewis, said in a statement on Friday.
Lewis tweeted that he was “heartbroken” to announce his wife’s death. He said she “died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family.”
“She died as she lived. Fearlessly,” wrote Lewis. “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.”
Lewis and McCrory had been married since 2007 and shared two children together: a daughter Manon, and a son Gulliver.
McCrory was well known for her work in television, film, and theater, having taken on memorable roles like Narcissa Malfoy in the iconic “Harry Potter” franchise, and as Aunt Polly in the British crime drama “Peaky Blinders.”
She twice played Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in “The Queen” and TV movie “The Special Relationship.” In her time on stage, she portrayed Lady Macbeth in “Macbeth” at Shakespeare’s Globe, Olivia in “Twelfth Night” and Rosalind in “As You Like It,” both in the West End.
Last fall, she starred in the television thriller “Roadkill,” opposite Hugh Laurie.
Outside of her acting prowess, McCrory was philanthropic. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she and Lewis raised more than £1 million ($1.38 million) to provide National Health Service workers with meals.
Many who knew McCrory or worked with her remembered her talent and generosity:
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