A look back at the most iconic roles of late actress Helen McCrory

Actress Helen McCrory died of cancer aged 52 on Friday, her husband Damian Lewis announced.

McCrory was very popular in stage and film, most known for her roles in Peaky Blinders and the Harry Potter franchise.

Last year, McCrory and Lewis raised more than £1m to provide NHS workers with meals from high street restaurants during the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tributes have poured in around the nation to pay respects to Lewis and his family.

Cillian Murphy said: “She was a gifted actor – fearless and magnificent. She elevated and made humane every scene, every character she played.

“I will dearly miss my pal. My love and thoughts are with Damian and her family.”

Here we will take a look back at some of the most iconic roles of Helen McCrory.

Peaky Blinders

On television, McCrory had a leading role as the Shelby’s matriarch Polly Gray in BBC Drama Peaky Blinders.

Peaky Blinders began filming its sixth series this year, expected to air later this year, with McCrory understood to have reprised her role.

Harry Potter

McCrory played Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, winning over fans with her cunning portrayal.

She was originally cast as Bellatrix Lestrange, but was forced to pull out when she became pregnant and of which she was replaced by Helena Bonham Carter.

McCrory was given in a role in later films to play Malfoy, Lestrange’s younger sister.

The Queen

McCrory was well liked in her portrayal as Cherie Blair in the Elizabeth II biopic The Queen.

It was a role she made her own so well she was invited to reprise the role in The Special Relationship.


McCrory played UK Home Secretary Claire Dowar in the film Skyfall, featuring in one of the film’s most pivotal moments in the courtroom scene.


McCrory starred in ITV thriller Fearless, where she played Emma Banville a human rights lawyer known for defending lost causes.


Stepping away from film and television, and into the world of theatre, McCrory played Medea in Euripides powerful tragedy at the National Theatre in 2014.

Featured Image Credit: Flickr – Sean Reynolds

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