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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.”

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Categories Charles II aka The Last King: The Power and Passion of Charles II Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Peaky Blinders Print Media

Helen McCrory’s journey from playing a protective mother in ‘Harry Potter’ to gang matriarch in ‘Peaky Blinders’ has been phenomenal

The British actress has played a number of unconventional roles — each getting more ambitious than the previous one.

 Helen McCrory's journey from playing a protective mother in 'Harry Potter' to gang matriarch in 'Peaky Blinders' has been phenomenal

There are only a few actresses who have been able to portray a mother who commits heinous crimes while maintaining her image as the savior matriarch. Going by this record then, British actress Helen McCrory has time and again excelled in roles that proved a mother is not only committed towards the well-being of her children but can be selfish enough to disregard the affairs of the world solely for the benefit of motherhood. Her characters might not be diverse but the confined roles that she plays have been executed until the last morsel has been squeezed out of those characters.

At the moment, McCrory is best known for her role as the Shelby matriarch, Polly Grey, a gypsy woman who is able to talk to spirits but at the same time commits a murder in the cleanest possible way. Polly Grey is one of the leading women on BBC One’s ‘Peaky Blinders’ but unlike her fellow characters, Polly holds the upper hand when it comes to the Shelby family business. As the company’s treasurer, Polly decides where the money goes and what happens with it, and let’s keep in mind this is a woman who lives in the early 1910s, a time when due to World War I men were out in the battlefield and women for the first time were taking control over business.

Continue reading Helen McCrory’s journey from playing a protective mother in ‘Harry Potter’ to gang matriarch in ‘Peaky Blinders’ has been phenomenal

Categories Fearless Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Interviews Peaky Blinders Print Media

Helen McCrory Interview: The Scotsman

Human Rights Lawyer: Fearless

by The Newsroom | The Scotsman | June 24, 2017


Fake news, post-truth, a world where there are no facts, only interpretations, if ever the time was right for a character like Helen McCrory’s human rights lawyer in ITV’s six part legal thriller, Fearless, it’s now.

Emma Banville believes in truth and the ability of the British legal system to uphold it, but not without a fight, and the tenacious lawyer is up for that fight. Known as a champion of lost causes, she sets out to prove the innocence of a convicted killer, who has served 14 years in jail for the murder of a schoolgirl, amid a backdrop of official conspiracies and cover-ups.

“Emma is a hunter for the truth, fearless and brave. She believes in Britain’s legal system and that it will strive for a just and fairer society, and that nothing is above the law,” says McCrory over the phone from the Fearless press junket.

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Categories Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Panel Discussions Video

VIDEO: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Cast Interview

Here Come the Malfoys – and Neville Longbottom, too

Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy) discuss the making of the final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. It all ends here.

Categories Damian Lewis Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Media Print Media

Sixty Second Therapist: Helen McCrory

Harry Potter star Helen McCrory

Lisa Merrick- Lawless | July 11, 2011 | Stylist

The BAFTA-winning actress, 42, on marriage, the spotlight and being a role model to her children.

You’ve starred in commercially successful films like Harry Potter and The Queen but seem to keep your private life out of the public eye. Is that a conscious decision?

It’s the way I like it. You don’t have to be in the public eye if you don’t want to be, and both my husband Damian [Lewis, star of Life and Band Of Brothers] and I get the best of both worlds. When we make films we go out and do the red carpet thing – you know, put on frocks and suits and have our photos taken, but we also have a life in north London where we walk the kids to school in flip-flops and go to the local pub with friends.

How did you know Damian was the man you wanted to settle down with?

When I met Damian I felt very calm with him, and like I belonged. I still do. Although we’re very different, our impulses are the same. I’ve never looked at him and not understood why he’s done something, and while I may not like what he’s done, I understand where it comes from.

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