Helen McCrory dead aged 52 – Peaky Blinders, Harry Potter and James Bond star who is married to actor Damian Lewis dies

PEAKY Blinders star Helen McCrory has tragically died aged 52 after a battle with cancer, her husband Damian Lewis confirmed today.

The Hollywood actress, who has also starred in Skyfall and Harry Potter, passed away peacefully at home.

Actor Damian, who has been married to the star for 14 years, confirmed the tragic news on Twitter today.

He said: "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 friends and family.

"She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we loved 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 couple have two children together – daughter Manon born in September 2006 and son Gulliver, who was born in November 2007.

They last month appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss their latest charity project with the Prince's Trust, where they are both ambassadors.

When asked if she had a sore throat by host Kate Garraway, Helen joked: "I've got children".

Caring Helen and Damian, who live in Suffolk, also helped feed frontline healthcare workers during the Covid pandemic.

They raised for more than £1million to help get hot meals delivered to hardworking staff with the help of powerhouses of the food industry.

Speaking about her charity work in March last year, Helen said: "Since we launched the campaign, we’ve received messages of appreciation for NHS workers from people across the country, which we’ve shared with them.

"For those working with infectious diseases, these messages of kindness and gratefulness – it’s about the safest hug you can give an ITU worker at the moment. It’s important for them to know, when they’re knackered, that they’re not alone and we’re thinking of them."

The star was born in Paddington in 1968 and spent a year living in Italy before returning to study acting at the Drama Centre in London.

She began her career in theatre where she was praised for her roles in Trelawny of the 'Wells' and Uncle Vanya.

Helen then appeared in a string of films – including Interview with the Vampire in 1994 and The Queen in 2006 where she played Cherie Blair.

The star was cast as Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix but was forced to pull out due her to pregnancy.

After being replaced by Helena Bonham Carter, Helen returned as Bellatrix's sister Narcissa Malfoy in the Half Blood Prince.

She also starred in the final two films in the franchise.

In 2013, Helen took on the gritty role of Polly Gray in the hit show Peaky Blinders as the domineering matriarch of the family.

Her character is the aunt of the Shelby brothers and the unofficial head of the family.

Just three weeks ago, the actress was confirmed to be returning to the show for its sixth and final season alongside Paul Anderson and Cillian Murphy.

The season started filming at the beginning of the year but it is not clear when it is due to return to our screens.

Helen was rewarded for her glittering career when she was made an OBE for services to drama at the 2017 New Year Honours.

In 2007, she tied the knot with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star Damian Lewis at Kensington and Chelsea Registry Office.

The couple met while they were performing in Five Gold Rings at London's Almeida Theatre in 2003.

They moved to LA at the end of 2007 so Damian could focus on crime show Life but came back to the UK two years later.

Speaking about what first attracted her to the actor, Helen said previously: "He just made me laugh a lot. And still does.

"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?"

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