Helen McCrory, the cultivated and adaptable British stage and screen entertainer who played Narcissa Malfoy in three Harry Potter films and the authority Polly Gray on the BBC arrangement “Peaky Blinders,” as well as acquiring basic approvals for her stage work, has passed on at her home in north London. She was 52.
Her demise, from malignancy, was declared via online media on Friday by her better half, the entertainer Damian Lewis.
Ms. McCrory was a natural face to London theater crowds and to British TV and film watchers a long time before she won more extensive acknowledgment in the Harry Potter motion pictures. She started her vocation in the performance center in 1990, straight out of show school, playing Gwendolen in a creation of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” in Harrogate, Yorkshire. In 1993, the chief Richard Eyre, who was the top of the National Theater, cast her in the main part in his creation of Arthur Wing Pinero’s comic play “Trelawny of the ‘Wells,'” for which she acquired shining audits.
Helen McCrory, the accomplished and versatile British stage and screen actress who played Narcissa Malfoy in three Harry Potter films and the matriarch Polly Gray on the BBC series “Peaky Blinders,” in addition to earning critical plaudits for her stage work, has died at her home in north London. She was 52.
Her death, from cancer, was announced on social media on Friday by her husband, the actor Damian Lewis.
Ms. McCrory was a familiar face to London theater audiences and to British television and film viewers well before she won wider recognition in the Harry Potter movies. She began her career in the theater in 1990, straight out of drama school, playing Gwendolen in a production of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” in Harrogate, Yorkshire. In 1993, the director Richard Eyre, who was the head of the National Theater, cast her in the leading role in his production of Arthur Wing Pinero’s comic play “Trelawny of the ‘Wells,’” for which she earned glowing reviews.
“Helen McCrory, in the title role, perfectly captures Rose’s crossover from a lovelorn ingénue to wounded woman,” Sheridan Morley wrote in The International Herald Tribune.
The next year she played Nina in Chekhov’s “The Seagull” at the National Theater, alongside Judi Dench and Bill Nighy, and in 1995 she was named “most promising newcomer” in the Shakespeare Globe Awards for her portrayal of Lady Macbeth in the West End.
Ms. McCrory worked steadily in the theater over the next two decades, with notable appearances as Yelena in Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” in 2002; as Rosalind in “As You Like It” in 2005 (which earned her an Olivier Award nomination for best actress); as Rebecca West in Ibsen’s “Rosmersholm” in 2008; and as Medea in 2016.
“Portrayed with unsettling accessibility and nerves of piano wire by Helen McCrory,” Ben Brantley wrote in The New York Times, “the Medea of ancient myth has become the sad but scary crazy lady next door, the kind who inspires you to lock up your children.”
But as early as 1994, Ms. McCrory was also venturing into film and television work. In 2003 she appeared as Barbara Villiers, the mistress of Charles II, in Joe Wright’s four-part series “Charles II: The Power and the Passion,” and in 2006 she made a cameo appearance as Cherie Blair, the wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair, in Stephen Frears’s “The Queen” — a role she reprised in the 2010 film “The Special Relationship,” written, as was “The Queen,” by Peter Morgan.