Categories As You Like It Print Media The Deep Blue Sea The Seagull Tributes Uncle Vanya

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.

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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.

Continue reading Damian Lewis On His Wife Helen McCrory

Categories As You Like It Medea Print Media The Deep Blue Sea Tributes

Rufus Norris: ‘In 15 years, I would have loved to have directed Helen McCrory as Prospero’

The Artistic Director of the National – Where McCrory Performed Her Last Major Plays – Recalls the Actor’s Sense of Wickedness and Mischief

Helen McCrory in Medea at the National

Few actors can stand by themselves on the Olivier or the Lyttelton stage and leave an audience thinking: if you are the only thing going on, then I’m happy. Helen McCrory was one of those actors. She appeared eight times at the National Theatre, most recently in Euripides’s Medea and in Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea, and she had a rare ability to inhabit and communicate what a character was feeling right to the back of the stalls. People talk about actors having natural magnetism but Helen was simply really, really good at what she did. Her death at the age of 52 has left the industry in utter shock.

Helen adored working at the National. We would often meet for a coffee and discuss parts she might play and, like everyone, I was extremely keen to get her and Damian in a production together. She had tremendous range, just at home with new work such as The Last of the Haussmans – Stephen Beresford’s look at the after effects of the Sixties’ in which Helen played the exasperated daughter of a hippie – as with the classics.

Continue reading Rufus Norris: ‘In 15 years, I would have loved to have directed Helen McCrory as Prospero’

Categories As You Like It Medea Print Media Trelawny of the Wells Tributes Uncle Vanya

Helen McCrory: ‘One of the great actors of her generation’

As the Worlds of Stage and Screen Mourn the Effervescent Star, Our Chief Theatre Critic Looks Back on a Career – and Life – That Positively Blazed

by Nick Curtis | Evening Standard | April 18, 2021


“She had it all.” This is how the National Theatre’s artistic director Rufus Norris sums up Helen McCrory, whose crushingly sad death from cancer at 52 has robbed London of a woman who dazzled, onstage and off.

Although she found wide fame as Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders and as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter film franchise – and as half of London’s most glamorous theatre power couple, with her husband Damian Lewis – she was, first and foremost, one of the greatest stage actresses of the age. “Doing theatre is what made my heart sing,” McCrory said, according to Lewis’s own moving tribute this weekend.

Though blessed with superb comic poise, she excelled particularly in tragic roles: her National Theatre appearances alone embraced a poignant Nina in The Seagull (1994), a searing Medea (2014) and a heartbreaking Hester Collyer in Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea (2016), among others, making use of what Sam Mendes this weekend called her “explosive energy”.

Offstage she was wickedly witty, devoted to her friends and to her children, Manon and Gulliver. Her palpable zest for life makes her early death seem all the more unjust. As Lewis heartbreakingly wrote: “I’ve never known anyone able to enjoy life as much.”

Continue reading Helen McCrory: ‘One of the great actors of her generation’