Very sad news is coming in as veteran actress Helen McCrory has reportedly passed away. Known for her roles in Peaky Blinders and the Harry Potter movies, the beloved performer passed away following a battle with cancer at the age of 52. The news was broken by her husband, actor Damian Lewis, in a statement posted to Twitter.
"I'm heartbroken to announce that after an heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family," the statement reads. "She died as she lived. 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."
Some of McCrory's colleagues have been expressing their sadness over the news. In another tweet, actor Reece Shearsmith added: "Impossible to process the mighty Helen McCrory has passed. I worked with Helen on stage and of course we were lucky enough to get her in "Inside No 9". She was always immaculate and brilliant. An unfathomable loss. RIP."
"Heartbroken at the news that Helen McCrory has died," said Bill co-writer Ben Willbond. "She was so so brilliant when she came to work on Bill. Funny, generous, some wicked stories. I was in awe. My heart goes out to Damian and their family. Rest in peace."
Given the popularity of the British crime drama series, McCrory is particularly well known for playing Polly Gray on Peaky Blinders, a role she'd been playing since the series debuted in 2013. She would ultimately appear in 30 overall episodes between then and 2019. The actress had other sizable roles on television as well, including parts in Penny Dreadful, Fearless, and MotherFatherSon. Last year, she appeared in the British miniseries Roadkill with Hugh Laurie and Pippa Bennett-Warner.
On the big screen, McCrory was originally cast as Bellatrix Lestrange, though she was forced to back out due to her first pregnancy. Helena Bonham Carter was then cast in the role, but McCrory would get her chance to join the Harry Potter franchise later on. She was cast as Bellatrix's sister Narcissa Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, a role she reprised in the final two movies, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2.
McCrory also loved to perform on stage, which includes a starring role in The Last of the Haussmans at the Royal National Theatre and playing Lady Macbeth at the Little Angel Theatre. Her theater work has also earned her prominent award nominations for roles in Uncle Vanya, As You Like It, and Trelawny of the 'Wells'. Additionally, McCrory narrated poetry for The Love Book App, which offered an anthology of love literature.
Survivors include McCrory's husband, Damian Lewis, with whom she'd been married since 2007; a daughter, Manon; and a son, Gulliver. Our condolences go out to them and the rest of the family and friends mourning the painful loss at this difficult time. May she rest in peace as Damian Lewis on Twitter.