Helen McCrory and Damian Lewis’s sweetest moments as he pays tribute to late wife

·5 min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Damian Lewis has expressed his grief over the death of his wife Helen McCrory, with the actor revealing he is “heartbroken”.

On Friday, Lewis, 50, announced the Harry Potter star’s death at the age of 52 following a “heroic battle” with cancer in a statement that read: “I’m heartbroken to announce that after an 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 family and friends.

“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.”

The emotional tribute follows years of loving moments between the couple, who first met in 2003 before marrying in 2007, and who share two children, daughter Manon, 14, and son Gulliver, 12.

From their unwavering support for one another to McCrory’s explanation of the part chance played in their meeting, these are some of the couple’s sweetest moments.

On their first interactions and what attracted the actress to her husband

While speaking with Radio Times in 2017, the Peaky Blinders star revealed that it was Lewis’s humour that first attracted her when they met while both appearing in Five Gold Rings at London’s Almeida Theatre in 2003, but that it was “pure chance” that ultimately brought them together.

“He just made me laugh a lot. And still does,” she said at the time, adding: “Of course, everyone in life wants someone to love and be loved by, but I think I was always just engrossed and involved in work. And no, the timing was pure fluke, pure chance, it always is, isn’t it?”

On Lewis’s support for her career and as a parent

While starring in the political drama series Fearless, McCrory said that it had only been with her husband’s encouragement and support that she had taken on the role in the Amazon show.

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“He is [supportive]. Much more so than I am. He was the one that persuaded me to do Fearless,” she told Radio Times. “He told me: ‘You have to do Fearless. You have to.’ I pointed out that he was going to be in America filming Billions and in 10 years I’ve always had the children when he goes away filming. But he replied: ‘Well, I’ll do it. Of course I can.’”

On how McCrory helped Lewis following the death of his mother

Lewis opened up about his and McCrory’s 13-year marriage during a recent interview with The Telegraph, in which he revealed his wife helped pull him out of a reckless period of his life triggered by the death of his mother.

“Helen definitely helped me out of that, no question,” he said of McCrory’s positive impact. “She was unlike anyone I’ve ever met. She still is.”

About McCrory fulfilling Lewis’s fantasy of family

During an interview with British Vogue in January 2015, Lewis spoke candidly about the future that he had pictured for himself, which he revealed at the time focused around a family.

“It was always one of my fantasies,” Lewis said. “The fantasy of the family. The happy, slightly chaotic, noisy family life. In a tumbledown house. Sunday roasts, and friends coming round, and walks with the dog – which we don’t have yet but, by the way, is part of my fantasy. That fantasy was as formed in my mind as any other fantasy about falling in love with a beautiful, talented actress and whisking her off to Paris to propose. It was all very formed in my mind and I feel, I feel…”

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Getty Images

McCrory had laughed while responding: “…happy with the way your plan has panned out?” to which Lewis had told his wife: “Yes. Well, yes. Because I always pursued my fantasies. I was never interested in fantasies remaining fantasies. They were always so formed in my imagination that I couldn’t not chase them.”

On celebrating McCrory’s 50th birthday with a surprise party

In August 2019, The Times asked the late actress whether she’d had a mid-life crisis when she turned 50, to which she’d replied: “God, no! Why would I do that? The alternative is a lot worse.”

However, she had had a bad cold on her birthday and had originally wanted to stay in bed, an idea that was replaced by a secretly arranged party.

“We were in a hotel and I was in bed with a really, really bad cold and said: “Let’s just get a burger and a bottle of red wine and watch telly,’ and he said: ‘OK.’ But then I thought ‘No, I’m 50!’ so we got out of bed and went downstairs – and there was everybody waiting for me!” she recalled.

On Lewis never giving McCrory a reason to be jealous

While speaking to The Telegraph in 2017, the actress was asked if she ever felt jealous in her marriage, as being married to a fellow actor means Lewis often portrays relationships on-screen.

However, according to the late star, despite the Billions actor working with “gorgeous people,” he never gave her a reason to feel jealous.

“No. It’s not because he hasn’t worked with gorgeous people - it’s because he’s never given me any reason to be,” she said. “’You know ... He’s lovely, otherwise I wouldn’t have chosen for him.”

Following the news of McCrory’s death, there has been an outpouring of tributes from notable figures, fellow celebrities, and fans as people pay their respects to the late star.

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