Helen McCrory, ‘Peaky Blinders’and ‘Harry Potter’ actor, dies at 52

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FILE – Actress Helen McCrory arrives at the British Academy Television Awards in London on May 8, 2016. McCrory, who starred in the television show “Peaky Blinders” and the “Harry Potter” movies, has died. She was 52 and had been suffering from cancer. Her husband, actor Damian Lewis, said Friday that McCrory died “peacefully at home” after a “heroic battle with cancer.” (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)

(AP) — British actor Helen McCrory, who starred in the television show “Peaky Blinders” and the “Harry Potter” movies, has died, her husband said Friday. She was 52 and had been suffering from cancer.

Her husband, fellow actor Damian Lewis, said McCrory died “peacefully at home” after a “heroic battle with cancer.”

“She died as she lived. Fearlessly,” Lewis wrote on Twitter. “God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”

McCrory was one of Britain’s most respected actors, making her mark by playing a succession of formidable and sometimes fearsome women.

She played the matriarch of a crime family on ”Peaky Blinders” and the scheming Voldemort ally Narcissa Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” movies.

Onstage, her roles included the vengeful Greek heroine “Medea” at the National Theatre in 2014. At the same theater, she excelled as a woman caught between a dull husband and a feckless lover in Terence Rattigan’s “The Deep Blue Sea” in 2016.

While many performers struggle to find meaty female roles in film and television, McCrory played a string of them.

“Having said that, there are a lot of things I turn down,” she told The Associated Press in 2016, describing the sort of roles where “all your lines are ‘But what did you do at work?’ ‘That’s so clever, darling.′ ‘How did you do that?’ ‘And then what did you do?’”

“Of course, there’s so much sexism within the profession,” McCrory said. “But I think you approach it in different ways, and my approach is just to forge forward.”

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