The Peaky Blinders star’s husband, fellow actor Damian Lewis, announced the news of her death on Friday afternoon, writing that Helen had died following what he described as a “heroic battle with cancer”.
“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.
“She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly.”
Following the news, tributes have been shared on social media, including in a post on the Peaky Blinders account and official Baftas page.
Those who knew and worked with Helen have also been paying their respects, and sharing their memories of the much-loved actor and “shining light”:
Helen will perhaps be remembered for her portrayal of Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders, having also acted in other TV dramas like Fearless, MotherFatherSon and Quiz.
Her big-screen credits include the James Bond film Skyfall and the final three Harry Potter films, in which she played Narcissa Malfoy.
Sharing his own memories of Helen, Michael wrote: “From the first moment I met her when we were just kids it was obvious she was very special. It was an honour to work with her and know her.
“Much love to Damian and her family. Heartbreaking.”
During her expansive career, Helen was nominated for two Olivier awards, for her roles in the plays As You Like It and The Last Of The Haussmans.
Helen is survived by her husband of 14 years, and their two teenage children.