Helen McCrory: JK Rowling calls Harry Potter star ‘an extraordinary actress and wonderful woman’

Rachel Brodsky
·5-min read
<p>JK Rowling leads tributes to ‘extraordinary actress and wonderful woman’ Helen McCrory</p> (Getty Images)

JK Rowling leads tributes to ‘extraordinary actress and wonderful woman’ Helen McCrory

(Getty Images)

JK Rowling was among those to pay tribute to Harry Potter and Peaky Blinders star Helen McCrory, who has died from cancer, aged 52.

The actor was known for her performances on stage and onscreen, but perhaps best for her roles in the Harry Potter film series, as Narcissa Malfoy, and as Aunt Polly in the BBC series Peaky Blinders.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling led the tributes, writing on Twitter, “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.”

McCrory’s Peaky Blinders co-star Cillian Murphy also shared a statement: “I am broken-hearted to lose such a dear friend,” he said.

“Helen was 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. 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. My love and thoughts are with Damian and her family.”

The BBC One show His Dark Materials, in which McCrory voiced the role of Stelmaria, paid tribute as well, writing on Twitter, “We are saddened to hear about the passing of Helen McCrory, who voiced Asriel’s wonderful daemon Stelmaria. She will be greatly missed.”

Harry Potter actor Chris Rankin wrote, "Awful news about Helen McCrory. A sublime talent, and, from the couple of brief moments our paths crossed whilst battling Hogwarts, a very lovely person. 52 is no age. Xxx."

Actor Colin Baker wrote, "Tragic tragic loss of Helen McCrory. So talented and generous and I gather from those who have known her a rather special warm and caring person. Sad for our profession and even more so for her family."

The Peaky Blinders Twitter account also paid tribute, posting a photo of McCrory in character: “Helen McCrory as Polly Gray. All our love and thoughts are with Helen’s family. Rest in peace.”

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Actor and Bill (2015) screenwriter Ben Willbond also wrote, “Heartbroken at the news that Helen McCrory has died. She was so so brilliant when she came to work on Bill. Funny, generous, some wicked stories. I was in awe. My heart goes out to Damian and their family. Rest in peace.”

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"Holy hell.. not Helen McCrory. How unbelievably sad.. Thinking of all her loved ones right now. So sad," wrote actor Amy Nuttall.

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Actor Elizabeth McGovern also paid tribute: “Helen McCrory was fearless and brilliant. Her talent astounded me. She was a shining light and is so still.”

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Actor Michael Sheen wrote, “So funny, so passionate, so smart and one of the greatest actors of our time. From the first moment I met her when we were just kids it was obvious she was very special. It was an honour to work with her and know her. Much love to Damian and her family. Heartbreaking.”

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Bridgerton actor Kathryn Drysdale wrote, “Helen McCrory was an outstanding talent. One of the finest actors of this generation. Didn’t want this to be true. What a loss.”

McCrory is survived by her husband Damian Lewis, and their two children.

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