The actress' death was confirmed by her husband, actor Damian Lewis, who wrote on Twitter that he was "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 family and friends".
Helen was known to many for her role as Narcissa Malfoy, Draco Malfoy's mother, in the Harry Potter franchise, and Jason, who played Narcissa's husband Lucius Malfoy in the movies, has shared a moving tribute to his on-screen wife on Instagram.
Sharing a photo of the Malfoy family from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the actor called Helen "the greatest actress I've ever seen".
"Decades ago Helen and I auditioned together for a film. I came home and said to Emma (Hewitt, his wife) 'I think I've just met the greatest actress I've ever seen.' After years of watching her mesmerise audiences I don't think that any more... I know it," he wrote.
"Luckily, I eventually found out that she was also scabrously funny, shockingly naughty and with an empathetic heart the size of a planet. As continually starstruck as I was on the Harry Potter films, being screen-married to and [giggling] with the great Helen McCrory will always be a highlight.
"Her proudest achievement, though, was building and loving the family that was her bedrock. They've lost so much and I send all my love to Damian and the kids."
Jason also shared an article about Helen's stage career on Twitter, writing: "For those who only saw Helen on screen, an idea of what you missed. Death makes us all reach for hyperbole, but I honestly never saw the like. I used to joke I'd never share a stage with her – what'd be the point? Except I wasn't joking."
Helen also starred as Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders and her co-star on the BBC drama, Cillian Murphy, has paid tribute to her, calling her a "beautiful, caring, funny, compassionate human being".
"She was also a gifted actor – fearless and magnificent. She elevated and made humane every scene, every character she played. It was a privilege to have worked with this brilliant woman, to have shared so many laughs over the years," he added.
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