Skip to main content
Hamburger Menu Close


CNA Lifestyle

Harry Potter actress Helen McCrory’s death: Husband Damian Lewis pays tribute

The actress, who also starred as Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders, died at age 52 of cancer on Friday (Apr 16).

Harry Potter actress Helen McCrory’s death: Husband Damian Lewis pays tribute

Actors Helen McCrory, left, and Damian Lewis appear at the premiere of "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood," in London on July 30, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP, File)

Billions actor Damian Lewis has paid a touching tribute to his late wife, the Harry Potter and Peaky Blinders actress Helen McCrory. She died of cancer at the age of 52 on Friday (Apr 16).

McCrory played Narcissa Malfoy, Draco’s mum, in the Harry Potter movies, and was also Aunt Polly in the drama Peaky Blinders.

Lewis, who announced McCrory’s death on Twitter, wrote a eulogy for her, which was published in the UK newspaper Sunday Times on Apr 18.

McCrory, who starred in the television show “Peaky Blinders” and the “Harry Potter” movies, has died. She was 52 and had been suffering from cancer. Her husband, actor Damian Lewis, said Friday (Apr 16) that McCrory died “peacefully at home” after a "heroic battle with cancer.” (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)

The 50-year-old Lewis, who’s also known for his role in Homeland, wrote in The Sunday Times: “Helen was an even more brilliant person than she was an actress. She was a people person, sure. ‘I’m much more interested in who I’m with than where I am’, she would say, and innately wanted to share.”

“But she also lived by the principle of kindness and generosity,” he added. “That you put these things out into the world to make it better, to make people feel better.”

Lewis shared that McCrory repeatedly thanked her caregivers even while on her deathbed, and had a way of making the person she met feel special “as though they were the only person in the room”.

“I’ve never known anyone able to enjoy life as much. Her ability to be in the present and enjoy the moment was inspirational,” he continued.

The couple got married in 2007 and have two children together.

Lewis said that his late wife told their two children repeatedly before she died: “Don’t be sad, because even though I’m about to snuff it, I’ve lived the life I’ve wanted to.”

She also encouraged him to move on after she passed. “Only a couple of weeks ago she said to us from her bed, ‘I want Daddy to have girlfriends, lots of them, you must all love again, love isn’t possessive, but you know, Damian, try at least to get through the funeral without snogging someone.’”

Lewis added that McCrory's "greatest and most exquisite act of bravery and generosity has been to 'normalise' her death". He wrote: "She's shown no fear, no bitterness, no self-pity, only armed us with the courage to go on and insisted that no one be sad, because she is happy. I'm staggered by her. She's been a meteor in our life." 

In Lewis’ initial Twitter announcement, he wrote that his late wife died “peacefully at home” after a “heroic battle with cancer”.

Cillian Murphy, McCrory’s Peaky Blinders co-star, said he was “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,” he said in a statement.

Source: CNA/sr