Categories Print Media Theatre Tributes

Helen McCrory: In Admiring, Awestruck Memory

We Remember a Great Actress Taken Way Too Soon

This one hurt. No death of course is easy to absorb, especially one as premature and shocking as that of Helen McCrory, whose surrender to cancer late last week, age 52, came like the most brutal and sudden of thunderclaps. The announcement was made via Twitter on Friday by her husband, Damian Lewis, and I doubt I’m the only one who reacted with moist-eyed disbelief, and not only because the couple were familiar, and welcome, faces in our north London neighbourhood.

It seemed only yesterday that I had seen her in the ITV adaptation of the James Graham play Quiz, lending a peppery authority to the role of the Ingrams’ defence barrister, Sonia Woodley. Or as the prime minister, thank you very much, opposite Hugh Laurie in Roadkill: a nice promotion for an actress who had previously played a PM’s wife, Cherie Blair, in the film The Queen.

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Helen McCrory: ‘If there’s one interesting thing about acting it’s trying to lose your ego’

Three encounters with the great actor who has died at the age of 52

Helena McCrory as Hester Collyer in The Deep Blue Sea at the National Theatre in 2016

Each generation is given an actress who can do everything – be intimate with the camera but also coat a back wall in honey from 100 paces. There was Judi Dench, and then there was Imelda Staunton, both loved by all. Helen McCrory – who has died at the age of 52 – was the next in line, and she was destined to be as great for as long.

Even in her late twenties, when she was barely known, she was already and obviously different. She had a face that seemed prematurely mature and wise. She didn’t look like anyone else, nor sound it. Her voice was a husky instrument that moved between romance and rage. It could seethe and seduce, conquer and coax.

Continue reading Helen McCrory: ‘If there’s one interesting thing about acting it’s trying to lose your ego’

Categories Announcements Tributes

Tribute to Helen

We welcome your tribute to the beloved Helen McCrory. If you wish to leave your condolences, please click on the ‘comments’ of this post. Then scroll to the bottom of the comment section to ‘Leave a Reply.’

If you wish to make a donation, the McCrory-Lewis family has asked that donations be made to the Sir Hubert von Herkomer Arts Foundation here.

Categories Damian Lewis Personal and Family Life Print Media Tributes

Damian Lewis On His Wife Helen McCrory

“I’ve never known anyone able to enjoy life as much”

by Damian Lewis | The Sunday Times | April 18, 2021

Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

The star, who has died of cancer at 52, was a brilliant actress and an even better person, writes her husband.

As I sit down to write this, I can hear Helen shouting from the bed, “Keep it short, Damian, it’s not about you.”

I’ll try, but on a weekend when the papers, rightly, will be paying their respects to the Duke of Edinburgh, thousands of others around the world have been remembering m’Duchess, my Little One, royalty in her own right. And I’d like to throw in my tuppence worth …

When I say “royalty”, I am of course referring to the esteem in which Helen is held in our business. Her nickname to many was Dame Helen (apologies, Dame Helen), and although we’ll never know now whether that would have become a reality, I think secretly, we do know.

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Helen McCrory, versatile actress who dominated the stage and shone on screen in Peaky Blinders and The Queen – obituary

The Telegraph’s Charles Spencer put her in his ‘pantheon of actors whose name in the programme always creates the anticipation of pleasure’

Helen McCrory, who has died of cancer aged 52, made her name as a subtle and intelligent stage performer, and later bucked the trend that consigns actresses to oblivion in middle age, becoming one of Britain’s most sought-after television stars in her 40s.

In the first decade of the new millennium she was hailed as one of the most promising presences in British theatre. Writing in the Telegraph in 2002, Jasper Rees placed her in the tradition of Judi Dench, Zoë Wanamaker and Imelda Staunton as “the small, punchy actress with a voice that can coat a back wall in honey from 100 paces.”

Continue reading Helen McCrory, versatile actress who dominated the stage and shone on screen in Peaky Blinders and The Queen – obituary