Helen McCrory Dies at 52; ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Peaky Blinders’ Castmates Remember the Actress

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Reactions are incoming from friends and colleagues about Helen McCrory, the “Harry Potter” and “Peaky Blinders” actress who died on Friday from cancer at the age of 52.

Steven Knight, creator of “Peaky Blinders,” released a statement: “Helen was one of the great actors of her generation. She was so powerful and controlled and this is so sad.” McCrory played Aunt Polly on the series, which announced this year that would it be ending with Season 6.

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“Peaky Blinders” star Cillian Murphy said, “I am broken-hearted to lose such a dear friend. 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.”

McCrory is probably best remembered for her role as Narcissa Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” franchise. The official social media account for the franchise, Wizarding World, said today: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved Helen McCrory, who played Narcissa Malfoy with such depth and brilliance in the Harry Potter film series. She was a wonderful actor and a very dear friend; Harry Potter fans will miss her very much.”

Director Sam Mendes praised McCrory, whom he worked with on the James Bond feature “Skyfall.” “An astonishing talent, a fabulous person, and an absolute true original. The film and theatre world has lost a one of a kind actress, and her family and friends have been robbed of an extraordinary, indomitable spirit. The world will be an infinitely poorer place without Helen in it.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said in a tweet: “Desperately sad to hear we have lost the wonderful Helen McCrory. An extraordinary talent on our stages and screens. Off-screen, a proud feminist, helping us unveil the statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, and giving young Londoners their first chance in the creative industries through her charitable work. All our thoughts are with Damien and Helen’s family.”

Actress Helen Mirren took to Instagram, posting a photo of McCrory whom she’d worked with on “The Queen,” saying: “A great actress and a great person. this is so very very sad.”

McCrory’s husband, actor Damien Lewis, announced her death Friday morning, saying she was “surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family. She died as she lived. Fearlessly.” McCrory is survived by two children with Lewis.

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