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'Peaky Blinders,' 'Harry Potter' Star Helen McCrory Dead At 52 After 'Heroic Battle' With Cancer

Apr. 16 2021, Published 2:10 p.m. ET

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Helen McCrory, the award-winning Peaky Blinders actress, has died at 52 after her battle with cancer. 

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McCrory's husband, Billions actor Damian Lewis, confirmed her death on Twitter on Friday, April 16, sharing that his "beautiful and mighty" wife died peacefully at home after her "heroic battle" with cancer.

Source: Damian Lewis/ Twitter
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Source: MEGA

Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory at the 65th Evening Standard Theatre Awards, London Coliseum, London, England on the 24th November 2019

"She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives," Lewis, 50, wrote. "She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you."

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Finn Cole, who played McCrory's estranged son, Michael Gray, in Peaky Blinders, re-posted Lewis' statement.

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McCrory was a talented and in-demand actress, perhaps best known for her role as Aunt Polly in BBC's Peaky Blinders. McCroy played the fierce matriarch of the Shelby family, keeping her gangster nephews in line with her sharp tongue and wit, as well as her worldly experience.

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Source: BBC

Helen McCrory (far right), Cillian Murphy, and Paul Anderson in Peaky Blinders (2013)

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The highly praised show shared a statement after learning of McCrory's death. "Helen McCrory as Polly Gray," the statement read. "All our love and thoughts are with Helen’s family. Rest in peace."

Source: Peaky Blinders/ Twitter
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The His Dark Materials actress was born in London in 1968 and started her acting career in 1990 on stage. After first meeting Lewis in 2003, the actors wed in 2007 and later welcomed two children: a daughter, Manon, and a son, Gulliver.

While reflecting on the couple's romance last year, McCrory candidly shared that the two had an instant connection, although their relationship wasn't all smooth sailing.

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"We hit it off pretty quickly and we had a bumpy courtship — I think we’ll leave it at that," she told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

"We are completely different as people but we’re very similar in our values," McCrory added before joking: "I don’t want to say too many nice things because he’s going to be roaring with laughter at the radio and tease me!"

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Over the years, McCrory has worked on a ton of projects including TV shows: Roadkill, Quiz, MotherFatherSon, Fearless and Penny Dreadful. In regards to films, she played Narcissa Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and was featured in Skyfall and Hugo as well as The Queen, playing Tony Blair’s wife Cherie Blair.

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Source: © 2009 Warner Bros. Ent, Harry Potter Publishing Rights J.K.R

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

McCrory also won numerous accolades including a BAFTA Cymru Award for 1995’s Streetlife and a Broadcasting Press Guild prize in 2001 for North Square. In addition, she earned herself a Critics Choice Television Awards nomination for her work in Penny Dreadful.

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Despite McCrory's overwhelming success, she previously admitted that she never looks back on her past work, as she's always moving forward and looking ahead.

“I don’t really reflect. When I was asked to look at different bits of my life for this program I had to look on the internet to see what I’d done," she told Desert Island Discs hosts. "I’ve lived life at 150 miles an hour. I just think that is the truth of it and I’ve never really stopped."


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