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Helen McCrory – Tribute: The Stage

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In Memoriam: Helen McCrory

A tribute to Helen McCrory and her extensive filmography

by Carly Horne | April 17, 2021 | The Courier

Following the announcement of Helen McCrory’s death on Twitter by husband Damian Lewis, comes the reflection of a life and career so full of exuberance and love. Although hers was a life cut far too short, it was also one marked by displays of endless generosity and incomprehensible levels talent which will surely be missed by all.

My first exposure to Helen McCrory came with the release of Skyfall in 2012. Something about her portrayal of Clair Dowar MP, a minor role relative to the scale of the film, just mesmerised me.

As Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, she shone. The mother of school bully, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) and wife to notorious Death Eater, Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) – Narcissa could easily have been a two-dimensional character. A ‘bad’ character. It’s hard to get away from the fact Narcissa Malfoy was a prejudicial pure-blood, but Helen McCrory brought so much humility and poise to what might have otherwise been an insignificant role.

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How Helen McCrory Shone, Even in a Haze of Mystery

She Was Unforgettable Onstage Playing Seemingly Serene Women Who Rippled With Restlessness

by Ben Brantley | The New York Times | April 17, 2021

Helen McCrory in the National Theater revival of Terence Rattigan’s “The Deep Blue Sea.” Credit: Richard Hubert Smith

Selfishly, my first feelings on hearing that the uncanny British actress Helen McCrory had died at 52 were of personal betrayal. We were supposed to have shared a long and fruitful future together, she and I. There’d be me on one side of the footlights and her on the other, as she unpacked the secrets of the human heart with a grace and ruthlessness shared by only a few theater performers in each generation.

I never met her, but I knew her — or rather I knew the women she embodied with an intimacy that sometimes seemed like a cruel violation of privacy. When London’s theaters reawakened from their pandemic lockdown, she was supposed to be waiting for me with yet another complete embodiment of a self-surprising life.

Ms. McCrory had become world famous for dark and exotic roles onscreen, as the fiercely patrician witch Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies and the terrifying criminal matriarch Polly Gray in the BBC series “Peaky Blinders.” But for me, she was, above all, a bright creature of the stage and in herself a reason to make a theater trip to London.

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Categories Print Media Tributes

Helen McCrory Tribute: The Times

She Made the Supremely Difficult Appear Effortless

by Dominic Maxwell  | The Times | April 16, 2021

Helen McCrory’s fearlessness made her phenomenally watchable in whatever she did GETTY IMAGES

“You don’t realise how quick life passes you,” Helen McCrory told The Times in an interview in 2017. She was talking about coming relatively late to motherhood. Yet when her husband, Damian Lewis, announced on Twitter today McCrory’s tragically early death, aged 52, from cancer, it was a salutary reminder of how easy it is to take what you’ve got for granted.

It is not just eulogy speak to think of McCrory as one of our very finest actresses. She died as she lived, her husband said, “fearlessly”. It was that fearlessness that made her so phenomenally watchable in whatever she did. On television in Peaky Blinders or, most recently, Roadkill. On the big screen in the James Bond film Skyfall or three Harry Potter films. On stage in Medea orThe Deep Blue Sea at the National Theatre, or as Olivia in Sam Mendes’s production of Twelfth Night at the Donmar Warehouse. Wherever she turned up, she brought an extraordinary energy and an equally extraordinary ability to apply only as much of that energy as was needed.

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Helen McCrory: a towering, irreplaceable figure of stage and screen

Helen McCrory had star quality

by The Newzly Desk |April 16, 2021 | The Newzly
Helen McCrory: a towering, irreplaceable figure of stage and screen
Helen McCrory’s final stage performance now stands as a monument to a towering, irreplaceable figure of stage and screen. In 2016, as Hester Collyer in The Deep Blue Sea, she turned Terence Rattigan’s heroine into a woman who is simply too big for the confining 1950s world she has been born into. The performance was a gift; she electrified every inch of the National Theatre’s stage.