Helen McCrory’s loved ones continue to pay tribute after her passing.
The 52-year-old actress, known for her roles in Peaky Blinders and Harry Potter, passed away last week after battling cancer. Her husband Damian Lewis announced the news in a Twitter post on Friday. Following the announcement, fans, loved ones, and co-stars alike — including Tom Felton, Jason Isaacs, and Cillian Murphy — shared their love and memories of the late star.
Damian wrote a touching tribute to his wife of 14 years for The Sunday Times, too, opening the piece with a showcase of her humor:
“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 …”
So romantic, and so sad.
He went on to appreciate the “outpouring of grief and shock” and “celebration of Helen McCrory the actress from fans everywhere.” However, he wrote that he wanted to address Helen “the person.” The Billions star reflected:
“Helen was an even more brilliant person than she was an actress. 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.”
The 50-year-old noted that he had “never known anyone so consciously spread happiness” and that Helen always “made each person she met feel special, as though they were the only person in the room.” He shared:
“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.”
“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.”
The father of two went on:
“She’s left our beautiful children, Manon and Gully, 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. As she said repeatedly to the children, ‘Don’t be sad, because even though I’m about to snuff it, I’ve lived the life I wanted to.’”
Helen also left a sweet and humorous directive for her husband. He explained:
“She has been utterly heroic in her illness… Her generosity has extended to encouraging us three to live. Live fully, take opportunities, have adventures. Only a couple of weeks ago she said to us from her bed, ‘I want Daddy to have girlfriends, lots of them, you must all love again, love isn’t possessive, but you know, Damian, try at least to get through the funeral without snogging someone.’”
The Homeland alum revealed that her “greatest and most exquisite act of bravery and generosity has been to ‘normalise’ her death.” He remarked:
“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. I’m staggered by her. She’s been a meteor in our life.”
What an incredible tribute for an incredible woman. We continue to keep Helen’s family in our thoughts.
[Image via WENN]