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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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Helen McCrory on Peaky Blinders and Her Best Supporting Men

Receives Rave Reviews for Every Character She Plays

by Megan Conner| Red Women | September, 2019

SHE WEARS SEQUINS TO THE SCHOOL GATES, HAS A HUSBAND WHO PULLS HIS WEIGHT AND RECEIVES RAVE REVIEWS FOR EVERY CHARACTER SHE PLAYS. ONE MIGHT SAY
HELEN McCRORY IS ACING IT. BUT, AS SHE TELLS MEGAN CONNER, SHE’S NOT ONE TO REST ON HER LAURELS…

Oh yes…’ frowns Helen McCrory, settling her tiny 5ft 2in frame on to a wide couch on the mezzanine level of a photographic studio in north London. ‘For some reason, I said I’d do the interview before the hair and make-up.’ She runs a hand through her crop of wet curls. ‘Now, tell me,’ she instructs, with all the authority of someone who is used to projecting her voice across the country’s greatest theatres, ‘Do I look like a small boy?’

She deadpans, but laughter follows. It’s the morning after one of the biggest annual summer shindigs in London – the Serpentine Summer Party – and McCrory is feeling fragile. ‘Oh, I did get a little lie-in,’ she says, flapping a hand. ‘Damian [Lewis, her husband of 12 years] got the kids to school while I had a shower.’ (So recent is the shower, her hair is still damp.) ‘But I’m thankful for this,’ she says, holding up her takeaway cappuccino. ‘I’ve been waiting for this.’

In truth, McCrory looks marvelous. Today, she’s dressed monochromatically in a pair of wide-leg checked trousers, worn with a hoodie and trainers. Her hair, the shortest I’ve seen on her, makes her look gorgeously gamine.

‘My daughter was a little confused when I picked her up from school yesterday in a pink and white sequinned jumpsuit,’ she says, chuckling. ‘I got her on the way to the party and she said, “Oh, of course.”’ She mimics her 12-year-old rolling her eyes. ‘But they’re used to it by now,’ she explains. ‘I’ll often come down the stairs and Damian will say, “Of course you are. Right let’s go. Your mother’s dressed for the walk in her ball gown again.”’

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Categories MotherFatherSon Print Media Reviews

Why I was wrong to doubt the mighty melodrama of MotherFatherSon

All about passion and tears

by Sarah Hughes | March 27, 2019 |  The Guardian

MotherFatherSon
All about passion and tears … MotherFatherSon. Photograph: Des Willie/BBC

When Helen McCrory launched into a monologue about a dead seal I nearly lost hope, but the family saga has won me over with its pure, jaw-dropping emotion

Warning: this piece contains spoilers for MotherFatherSon

Before MotherFatherSon began I thought I had some idea what to expect. It was written by Tom Rob Smith, creator of London Spy and The Assassination of Gianni Versace. It starred Richard Gere as a millionaire media mogul, Helen McCrory as his estranged wife and Billy Howle as their troubled, cocaine-addled son.

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Categories MotherFatherSon Print Media Reviews

MotherFatherSon: Richard Gere is subtly Machiavellian but Helen McCrory is positively regal

McCrory is simply excellent as Gere’s on-screen wife

by Guy Pewsey | March 6, 2019 | The Evening Standard

Standout star: Helen McCrory shines in the BBC's new thriller
Standout star: Helen McCrory shines in the BBC’s new thriller / BBC Picture Archives / Steve Schofield

Quite the casting coup, to secure Richard Gere for the latest BBC drama.

The American actor has true Hollywood star status through roles in films including Pretty Woman, An American Gigolo and Primal Fear. Usually, we’re rooting for him, the silver fox with the undeniable charm. It’s refreshing, then, to find him tackling less familiar territory at the centre of a thriller where we may get a glimpse of what could be sharp fangs beneath his kilowatt smile.

Gere is Max, an American media mogul who owns newspapers and TV channels across the globe, including The National Reporter in the UK, where his son, Caden, is editor. When your primary asset is information, you hold remarkable influence, and with the UK on the verge of a general election, Max flies to London to weigh up his options. His decision comes down to more than putting a cross beside a name: the person he anoints, the one he blesses with positive coverage and exposure, could be the one to lead the country.

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