McCrory’s husband and fellow actor, Damien Lewis, announced that Helen, who played Narcissa Malfoy in the final three Harry Potter films and Polly Gray in “Peaky Blinders,” passed away after a long battle with cancer.
“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,” Lewis wrote on in a statement released on Twitter. “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.”
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) April 16, 2021
The Harry Potter creator quickly issued a statement on social media when she found out about the tragic loss. “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,” Rowling wrote.
McCrory’s “Peaky Blinders” co-star, Cillian Murphy, also mourned the late actress in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “I am broken-hearted to lose such a dear friend. Helen was a beautiful, caring, funny, compassionate human being,” Murphy said. “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,” Cillian continued. “My love and thoughts are with Damian and her family.”
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.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 16, 2021
The London-born McCrory studied acting at the Drama Centre in the U.K. and frequently appeared on British TV and the stage. She married Damian Lewis on July 4, 2007. They share two children, Manon McCrory-Lewis, 14, and Gulliver Lewis, 13.
Helen was originally cast as Bellatrix Lestrange in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” but left the project because she was pregnant. Director David Yates cast her as Narcissa Malfoy for the last three films of the franchise.