“Wow. Helen McCrory on TV discussing her important charity work for the Prince’s Trust just six weeks before her death from cancer – and very few people had any idea what she was clearly going through. An incredible person,” wrote GB News presenter Dan Wootton on Twitter shortly after the news of McCrory’s death broke on Friday (16 April).
One moment particularly stands out in the interview, when anchor Kate Garraway asked, “Are you all right, Helen? You sound a bit croaky. Have you got a sore throat?”
“No, I’ve got children!” McCrory exclaimed with a smile.
McCrory’s cancer diagnosis had been kept private from the public. On Friday, her husband Lewis posted the sad news on Twitter, writing that she had died peacefully at home after “a heroic battle with cancer”.
“I’m heartbroken to announce that after a 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,” he said.
“She died as she lived,” he continued. “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.”
Among her many film credits was Interview with the Vampire (1994), The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), and Cherie Blair in The Queen (2006). In 2014 she starred in Alan Rickman’s film A Little Chaos, opposite Kate Winslet.
She won a new generation of fans for her performance as Narcissa Malfoy, mother to Harry Potter’s nemesis Draco Malfoy, in the film adaptations of JK Rowling’s series of books.
Another of her most memorable roles was as the matriarch figure Polly Shelby in the BBC series Peaky Blinders, for which she received critical raves.
McCrory is survived by Lewis and their two children, Manon and Gulliver.