Peaky Blinders actress Helen McCrory dies aged 52

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Actress Helen McCrory, who is well-known for her roles in Peaky Blinders and three Harry Potter films, has died of cancer at the age of 52.

McCrory was also known for her long and acclaimed career on stage, and the National Theatre’s artistic director Rufus Norris said she was “unquestionably one of the great actors of her generation”.

Her husband, fellow actor Damian Lewis, announced her death on Twitter, saying that McCrory had died “peacefully at home”. McCrory married the Homeland star Lewis in 2007 and they had two children.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling led the tributes, writing that it was “simply heartbreaking news”.

On television, she had a leading role as the Shelbys’ matriarch Polly Gray in the BBC’s period crime drama. The show began filming a sixth series this year, expected to air later in 2021, with McCrory understood to have reprised her role.

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight said: “Helen was one of the great actors of her generation. She was so powerful and controlled and this is so sad.”

Cillian Murphy, who played Tommy Shelby in the show, added he was “broken-hearted to lose such a dear friend”, describing her as “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,” he said, adding it was “a privilege to have worked with this brilliant woman… I will dearly miss my pal”.

Source: BBC News