Damian Lewis, who married McCrory in 2007, after they met on the production of ‘Five Gold Rings’ at London’s Almeida Theatre in 2003
Actor Damian Lewis paid a heartfelt tribute to his late wife Helen McCrory, who died last week, battling cancer. She was 52 when she breathed her last.
The ‘Billions’ star, honored McCrory, who was widely known for her roles as Narcissa Malfoy in the popular ‘Harry Potter’ films and Polly Gray in ‘Peaky Blinders’, in an emotional tribute written for The Sunday Times, in which he reflected on his “brilliant” wife’s life, reported People magazine. “Many people have spoken about her career and many more will, so that’s where I’ll leave it, because it strikes me that two things are happening this weekend: an outpouring of grief and shock, and a celebration of Helen McCrory the actress from fans everywhere, and of Helen the person. And that’s who I want to talk about,” Lewis said of the actor.
“Helen was an even more brilliant person than she was an actress,” the actor continued.
Damian Lewis added, “She was a people person, sure. ‘I’m much more interested in who I’m with than where I am,’ she would say, and innately wanted to share. But she also lived by the principle of kindness and generosity. That you put these things out into the world to make it better, to make people feel better.”
Damian Lewis went on to speak on how McCrory always “spread happiness,” writing, “Even when dying in her last few days, when talking to our wonderful carers, she repeatedly said, ‘thank you so much in her half-delirious state.”
“I’ve never known anyone able to enjoy life as much. Her ability to be in the present and enjoy the moment was inspirational. Nor was she interested in navel-gazing. No real interest in self-reflection; she believed in looking out, not in. Which is why she was able to turn her light so brightly on others,” Lewis added.
Damian Lewis, who married McCrory in 2007, after they met on the production of ‘Five Gold Rings’ at London’s Almeida Theatre in 2003, said the late actor has left their two children, 14-year-old daughter Manon, and 13-year-old son Gulliver, “too early, but they have been prepared for life.”
“They have in them the fearlessness, wit, curiosity, talent, and beauty of their mother. She has exhorted us to be courageous and not afraid,” Lewis said.
Damian Lewis also wrote in the tribute of McCrory, “She has been utterly heroic in her illness. Funny, of course — generous, brave, uncomplaining, constantly reminding us all of how lucky we’ve been, how blessed we are. Her generosity has extended to encouraging us three to live. Live fully, take opportunities, have adventures.”
“Already I miss her. She has shone more brightly in the last months than you would imagine even the brightest star could shine. In life, too, we had to rise to meet her. But her greatest and most exquisite act of bravery and generosity has been to ‘normalize’ her death. She’s shown no fear, no bitterness, no self-pity, only armed us with the courage to go on and insisted that no one be sad because she is happy,” said Lewis.
“I’m staggered by her,” he added of McCrory. “She’s been a meteor in our life.”
Damian Lewis announced McCrory’s demise on Friday. “I’m heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family,” he said on Twitter.
McCrory has been honored on social media since the news of her death by costars and friends, including Daniel Radcliffe, Helen Mirren, Jason Issacs, J.K. Rowling, Tom Felton, and Cillian Murphy.
In addition to her film and TV roles, McCrory began her career on stage and appeared in more than 25 productions during the 1990s through the mid-2010s. Her stage credits included ‘Macbeth’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘As You Like It’, ‘Medea’, and many more.
The ‘Peaky Blinders’ has also appeared in the James Bond film ‘Skyfall’, Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ and played Cherie Booth, wife of U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, in ‘The Queen’ and ‘The Special Relationship’.