Helen McCrory, the British actress who played the mother of the evil Draco Malfoy in the series Harry Potter and the aunt and matriarch of the Shelby brothers in the series Peaky Blinders, has died this Thursday at age 52 as a result of cancer. McCrory’s husband, actor Damian Lewis (Homeland, Band of Brothers), made the news public through his Twitter account, in which he declared that the actress passed away “quietly at home, surrounded by a wave of love from her family and friends.”
McCrory has developed his career in theater, film and television for more than three decades. His debut on the big screen was in 1994, in The Flanders table, that adapted to the cinema the homonymous novel of Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Over time, she managed to carve out supporting roles, such as Tony Blair’s wife in The Queen (2006), by Stephen Frears; the protagonist’s mother in Hugo’s invention (2011), by Martin Scorsese, and MP Clair Dowar in the James Bond film Skyfall (2012).
The performer had originally landed the role of Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, in 2007. However, she was forced to leave him due to the pregnancy of one of the two children she had with Lewis. That character was eventually embodied by Helena Bonham Carter, while McCrory ended up playing Narcissa Lestrange, Bellatrix’s sister and Lucius Malfoy’s wife in the last three films of the series.
It was on television where the actress was most recognized. Aside from her role as rude Polly Shelby on the mobster series Peaky Blinders, where he shared the screen with actors such as Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy or Adrian Brody, he also stood out in leading roles in series such as the Victorian horror production Penny Dreadful or the drama Fearless. In this, she played a human rights lawyer who tries to prove the innocence of a man imprisoned for the death of a girl.