Celebrities and other public figures are reacting to the news of “Harry Potter” and “Peaky Blinders” actress Helen McCrory’s death with moving social-media tributes describing her as an “extraordinary actress” and a “compassionate human being.”
The messages started pouring in on Instagram and Twitter after McCrory’s husband, actor Damian Lewis, shared on Friday that she had died of cancer at age 52.
“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,” Lewis wrote in a tweet.
“She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives,” he continued. “She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”
McCrory and Lewis had two children, Manon, 14, and Gulliver, 13.
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) April 16, 2021
J.K. Rowling and several ‘Harry Potter’ stars spoke warmly of McCrory in their tributes to the late actress
McCrory began her acting career with a stint on stage at London’s West End and has also appeared in critically-acclaimed movies like “Interview With the Vampire” (1994) and “The Queen” (2006).
McCrory joined the “Harry Potter” movie franchise as Narcissa Malfoy, the mother of Draco Malfoy, in 2009, although she was initially cast as Bellatrix Lestrange.
“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling tweeted she was “devastated” to hear about McCrory’s death and praised her as an “extraordinary actress.”
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.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 16, 2021
Chris Rankin and Bonnie Wright, who played siblings Percy and Ginny Weasley in the “Harry Potter” franchise, also spoke highly of the “brief moments” they spent with McCrory while filming the movies.
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
— Chris Rankin (@chrisrankin) April 16, 2021
McCrory’s ‘Peaky Blinders’ costars called her ‘shockingly talented’
McCrory starred as Polly Gray in “Peaky Blinders” from 2013 until 2019.
Cillian Murphy, who starred alongside McCrory on the period drama, said in a statement that he was “broken-hearted” over McCrory’s death.
“Helen was a beautiful, caring, funny, compassionate human being,” Murphy said. “She was also a gifted actor — fearless and magnificent.”
“She elevated and made humane every scene, every character she played.,” he added. “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,” Murphy concluded.
Actor Finn Cole, who played her character’s son on “Peaky Blinders,” called McCrory “witty, classy, and “really f—— cool” in a series of Instagram story videos.
Finn Cole ‘s tribute to Helen McCrory Heartbroken for them all . pic.twitter.com/sx0ZsWhpeY
— Cillian Murphy Fans (@CMurphyFans) April 16, 2021
McCrory’s costars Sophie Rundle and Sam Claflin joined Cole and Murphy in paying tribute to the actress.
Helen – you were truly one of a kind. Any time I have ever had the good fortune of sharing a space with you, you owned it. Completely.
But you have always made me feel at home. Without fail.
Love and strength to your family x pic.twitter.com/stv1TOYXQr
— Sam Claflin (@samclaflin) April 16, 2021
Other public figures — in the entertainment industry and beyond — joined in posting social-media messages about her
The official Twitter account of the Royal National Theatre in the UK said they had a “long and rich association” with McCrory, who had returned to the stage as Hester Collyer in “The Deep Blue Sea” in 2016.
We’re devastated to hear that Helen McCrory has died and will miss her terribly.
Our thoughts are with her friends and family at this very sad time. pic.twitter.com/Eo2dmviKik
— National Theatre (@NationalTheatre) April 16, 2021
“James Bond” producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli extended their condolences to McCrory’s family. They had worked with the actress on the 2012 Bond film “Skyfall.”
“We are devastated to hear of the passing of the extraordinarily talented and gracious Helen McCrory. We were honoured to have worked with her on Skyfall and send our heartfelt condolences to Damian, Manon and Gulliver.” Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. pic.twitter.com/hMSEqle83D
— James Bond (@007) April 16, 2021
“Lucifer” star Tom Ellis called McCrory a “true treasure.”
I’m so saddened by the passing of Helen McCrory. A true treasure taken way too early.
She was an absolutely Brilliant person and a phenomenal actress. My heart go’s out to her family. 💔
— tom ellis (@tomellis17) April 16, 2021
McCrory’s longtime friend, actor Michael Sheen, said that it was an honor “to work with her and know her” since they were children.
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. https://t.co/gsBO5Fr1ev
— michael sheen 💙 (@michaelsheen) April 16, 2021
“Midsommar” star Florence Pugh wrote on Instagram Stories that she was “heartbroken” and that, like many others, she had grown up watching and admiring McCrory’s work.
“Sherlock” actor Mark Gatiss commended McCrory for bringing “aching vulnerability” to her performances and said that she was “a wonderful actor and a wonderful woman.”
Unbearable and unbelievable that Helen McCrory has gone. A genuine firecracker with an aching vulnerability. A wonderful actor and a wonderful woman. Thoughts with Damian and family. RIP
— Mark Gatiss 💙 (@Markgatiss) April 16, 2021
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, tweeted that he was “desperately sad” to hear about McCrory’s death.
Desperately sad to hear we have lost the wonderful Helen McCrory. An extraordinary talent on our stages and screens.
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) April 16, 2021
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