Damian Lewis’ heartbreaking tribute to wife Helen McCrory

Leah Sinclair
·3-min read
<p>Damian Lewis with his wife Helen McCrory</p> (Reuters)

Damian Lewis with his wife Helen McCrory


Damian Lewis has shared a moving tribute to his wife Helen McCrory after the actress passed away at the age of 52.

On Friday, Mr Lewis confirmed his wife had been battling cancer and had died "surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family".

The Homeland star has penned an emotional tribute to his Ms McCrory in the Sunday Times, calling her “the meteor in our life”.

He revealed that Ms McCrory’s nickname to many was Dame Helen who was “royalty in her own right”.

Ms McCrory was a titan of British stage and screen and was awarded an OBE for services to drama in 2017.

She was probably best known her role in Peaky Blinders but also had a critically acclaimed stage career winning plaudits for National Theatre roles in productions of Medea and Terence Rattigan’s post war drama The Deep Blue Sea.

Mr Lewis said that while many were reflecting on Ms McCrory’s acting career, he wanted to write a special tribute to his wife who was "an even more brilliant person than she was an actress".

“She was a people person, sure,” he wrote. “I’ve never known anyone so consciously spread happiness.”

Mr Lewis said Ms McCrory had helped the family to "normalise" her death and had continued to be happy right up until the end

She told the couple’s two children, Manon, 14, and Gulliver, 13, not to be sad because she had lived “the life she wanted to”.

“She has exhorted us to be courageous and not afraid,” Mr Lewis said.

“As she said repeatedly to the children, ‘Don’t be sad, because even though I’m about to snuff it, I’ve lived the life I wanted to,”’ he wrote.

She also told the children not to be afraid of anger and that it was “a positive emotion when used right.”

Mr Lewis discussed Ms McCrory’s final days and said that she lived by the principle of kindness and generosity until the end.

"Even when dying in her last few days, when talking to our wonderful carers, she repeatedly said, “thank you so much” in her half-delirious state," he said.

The 50-year-old said that he never knew anyone to “enjoy life so much”and said that while she left their two children “too early”, she had prepared them for life.

Before she died she said she wanted Mr Lewis to have “lots of girlfriends” but urged him to wait until the funeral was over before snogging anyone.

Saying he "already missed her", the Mr Lewis described how his wife "shone more brightly in the last months than you would imagine even the brightest star could shine".

“She’s shown no fear, no bitterness, no self-pity, only armed us with the courage to go on and insisted that no one be sad, because she is happy. I’m staggered by her. She’s been a meteor in our life,” he wrote.

The couple married in 2007 and had their daughter, Manon in 2006 and son Gulliver in 2007.

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