Helen McCrory, the English stage and screen star who appeared in three Harry Potter films, alongside The Queen, Peaky Blinders and Skyfall, has died. She was 52.
Her husband Damian Lewis broke the news on Friday.
“Heartbroken to announce that after an heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and might woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family,” he wrote in a Twitter post. “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.”
A regular across stage, TV and film since the 1990s (her first film role was in 1992’s Interview with a Vampire), McCrory first made a name for herself in U.K. theater, landing a London Evening Standard award for best actress in 2002 for Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, and an Olivier Award nomination in 2006 for As You Like It.
Following roles in Charlotte Gray and Casanova, her film career hit a high note with her portrayal of Cherie Blair in Steven Frear’s royal biopic The Queen, which saw her earn best supporting actress nomination in 2006 from the London Critics’ Circle. She reprised the role in the follow up, 2010’s The Special Relationship.
McCrory had been due to play Bellatrix Lestrange in 2007’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but was forced to pull out due to her first pregnancy (the role went to Helena Bonham Carter). However, she was later cast as Bellatrix’s sister Narcissa Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and also appeared into the final two-films of the franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Parts 1 and 2.
In 2013, she was cast in arguably her most famous TV role, Shelby family matriarch Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders, appearing across all five seasons so far.