Helen McCrory, who played Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films and Aunt Polly in television show Peaky Blinders, has died from cancer at age 52.
In a statement posted to Twitter, her husband, the actor Damian Lewis, said she “has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family.”
McCrory was a star of stage and screen, memorable for roles in series like Peaky Blinders and films like Skyfall, but also for a three-decades-long stage career that included performances in Macbeth, As You Like It, Medea, and many others. Helen McCrory was a favorite in every I ever saw her in, including just now when I realized she’d married Damien Lewis and decided that was enough to finally forgive him for the shit his character pulled in The Forsyte Saga. I especially love this anecdote a fan posted to Twitter of a McCrory interview for the BBC’s Desert Island Discs radio show, in which she fondly remembered being mistaken for Emily Watson by Lauren Bacall, then eased Bacall’s discomfort by pretending to mistake her for Katherine Hepburn.
But there’s no mistaking Helen McCrory for anything other than a prodigious talent who will be sorely missed.