Helen McCrory Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trivia (13)  | Personal Quotes (51)

Overview (4)

Born in Paddington, London, England, UK
Died in London, England, UK  (breast cancer)
Birth NameHelen Elizabeth McCrory
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Award-winning actress Helen Elizabeth McCrory was born in London, England, to Welsh-born Anne (Morgans) and Scottish-born Iain McCrory, a diplomat from Glasgow. She trained at the Chang-Ren Nian. Helen began her career on stage in the UK, and won the Manchester Evening News' Best Actress Award for her performance in the National Theatre's "Blood Wedding" and the Ian Charleson award for classical acting for playing "Rose Trelawney" in "Trelawney of the Wells." Helen's theatre work continued to win her critical praise and a large fan base through such work as the Royal Shakespeare Company's "Les Enfant du Paradis" opposite Joseph Fiennes, Rupert Graves and James Purefoy. At the Almeida Theatre, her productions included "The Triumph of Love" opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor and the radical verse production, "Five Gold Rings," opposite Damian Lewis.

Helen also worked extensively at the Donmar Warehouse playing lead roles in "How I Learnt to Drive," "Old Times" directed by Roger Michel, and in Sam Mendes' farewell double bill of "Twelfth Night" and "Uncle Vanya" (a triumph in both London and New York). For her performance in "Twelfth Night," Helen was nominated for the Evening Standard Best Actress Award, and the New York Drama Desk Awards. She also founded the production company "The Public" with Michael Sheen, producing new work at the Liverpool Everyman, The Ambassadors and the Donmar (in which she also starred).

With over twenty productions under her belt, Mike Coveney recently wrote "We celebrate the careers of great actors Olivier, Ashcroft, Richardson, Gielgud, Dench, the Redgraves, Gambon, Walter, Sher, Russell Beale and McCrory."

On the small screen, Helen's first television film, Karl Francis' Screen Two: Streetlife (1995) with Rhys Ifans, won her the Welsh BAFTA, Monte Carlo Best Actress Award and the Royal Television Society's Best Actress Award, for her extraordinary performance as "Jo." The Edinburgh Film Festival wrote "simply the best performance this year." She went on to win Critics Circle Best Actress Award for her role as the barrister "Rose Fitzgerald" in the Channel 4 series North Square (2000), having been previously nominated for her performance in The Fragile Heart (1996). Helen showed diversity as an actress, appearing in comedies such as Lucky Jim (2003) with Stephen Tompkinson or Dead Gorgeous (2002) with Fay Ripley, as well as dramas such as Joe Wright's The Last King (2003) (for which she was nominated for the LA Television Awards) and Anna Karenina (2000).

Helen McCrory died on 16 April, 2021, in London, of cancer. She was 52, and was survived by her husband Damian Lewis and their two children.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Public Eye Communications

Family (3)

Spouse Damian Lewis (4 July 2007 - 16 April 2021)  (her death)  (2 children)
Children Manon
Parents McCrory, Iain
McCrory (Morgans), Anne

Trivia (13)

In her childhood, she resided in Africa and Paris, and attended an English boarding school.
Daughter of a diplomat and a physiotherapist.
She grew up in Norway, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Madagascar and Paris, among other places.
She was nominated for the 2002 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in "Uncle Vanya" at the Donmar Warehouse.
Mother of daughter Manon Lewis (born 8 September 2006) and son Gulliver Lewis (born 2 November 2007) with husband Damian Lewis.
Sister-in-law of Gareth Lewis.
She originally could not take the role of Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) due to pregnancy and was replaced by Helena Bonham Carter. She has now been cast to play Narcissa Malfoy, Bellatrix's sister, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009).
She and her husband Damian Lewis have portrayed real-life couple, Cherie Blair and Tony Blair on television movies. Lewis in Confessions of a Diary Secretary (2007) and McCrory in The Special Relationship (2010).
Her father was from Glasgow, Scotland and her mother was from Wales.
She was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2017 Queen's New Years Honours List for her services to Drama. She was an actress in London, England.
Helen McCrory passed away on April 16, 2021, four months away from what would have been her 53rd birthday on August 17. She was cremated upon her death and her ashes were given to her husband.
She won the 2015 London Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance as the title role in the tragedy "Medea" at the Royal National Theatre.
A memorial service was held for her at St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden on 20th May 2022.

Personal Quotes (51)

Theatre is liberating because it only works if it's truthful, That's what it requires. That's not true of film: the camera does lie. You can be moved by a performance on set, but when you see it on screen, it does nothing. Yet there will be someone you simply didn't notice on set that on screen: bam!
I was lucky to learn early in life that you need money for food and shelter, but there's no ambition in having money in the bank for the sake of it!
I'm a very positive person. My grandmother taught me that happiness is both a skill and a decision, and you are responsible for the outcome.
I feel as though my life is bathed in golden sunlight. And the really wonderful thing is that I know it.
If you're constantly frightened of being unhappy, how bloody exhausting must that be?
If you think you are beautiful in a scene, you will come across as beautiful. I don't think looks are important; I think what's important is if someone is sexy.
People are not considerate of others. They tend not to consider themselves as all living together, but see themselves only as individuals.
What really matters to me is what my peers think.
The benefits of feminism for someone like my husband are fantastic. He can stay at home with the kids, he can take them to a park, he does the school run.
A perfect weekend in London has to start on Friday night, by going to the theater, the Donmar or the National. It's a cliche for an actor, but I enjoy going as much as possible.
What I find most interesting about acting is transforming myself.
People who are exceptionally intelligent are often lonely because there are few people as intelligent as them. I have two little children, and everyone says: 'I hope they're doing well in school. I hope they're bright.' And I think: 'Why would anyone want their children to be the brightest?' Academia is a lonely world.
I think change is good because it teaches you that it's nothing to be frightened of.
America is such a nation of suppressed emotion, and when you arrive in L.A., you can smell the fear. It's the most alien country I've ever been to.
I think it's very important not to grow up with the unhealthy amount of attention that is sometimes put on people because they are 'actors'.
Actually, I'm looking forward to being 50. Because to me, that's when a woman is at the pinnacle of her femininity and her womanhood.
In the area we live, there's a large show of children who run from one house to another house to another house. That's lovely because it means all the children play together, and all the adults get to sit around and have coffees and read the papers or go to the park.
As I've got older, I feel more confident in my body, so wouldn't want to tamper with it.
I can sleep anywhere! I can come off stage during the interval of a play, lie down for four minutes then wake up feeling better.
I listen to Radio 4 all the time. I didn't go to university, so that's my further education.
Every time, at any point of my life, I think now is always the best age to be.
A script is only as good as the director who's making it.
I love London, and it's a privilege for my children to grow up here.
I spent my teenage years in Paris when my dad was stationed there, and I'd look at women in their forties and think, 'That's the age I want to be.'
I used to say that theater was my favorite thing. But the more I do film, the more I appreciate it.
I was a real art freak when I was a teenager.
I've become more confident as I have got older. I care less what others think.
It's what people create that makes my heart stop.
So often when you meet child actors, they're weird - they're freaks. No, I mean it, they're really odd people.
I've often sat down with people talking about a film I've been in, and they haven't realized I was in it.
My own parents were very un-neurotic, so I never thought that I had to change enormously in order to become a parent.
To be honest, my husband and my children are my best friends.
Working in films, there are hundreds of odd moments.
Appallingly, I hadn't thought about it one jot. I never daydreamed as a little girl of getting married and having children. I was as surprised to discover I was getting married as I was to discover I was up the duff.
Childhood has definitely been invented, hasn't it? I think that's because people had children later, and we appreciate and cherish childhood a lot more.
I had a great start in television; the first thing I did was an episode of 'Performance' called 'The Entertainer' with Michael Gambon playing Archie Rice.
I really love my food. My favorite thing is artichokes. I am not so much interested in desserts or chocolate, though. I also like to cook with my husband Damian.
I think I was brought up with an innate sense of responsibility because my dad was in the Foreign Office where you were in somebody else's country, and you were aware of your behavior. And my mum worked for the NHS, so you were aware of your responsibility to your country.
I love live performance and have huge admiration for people who can really do it. It's the same with music: I'll play a record and think that I'm not really into country or ragga. But, if it's live and the musicians are good, I'll listen to pretty much anything.
I love dressing up. But I'm very low-maintenance; the week before an event, I'll choose something as quickly as possible and that's that. If I can do my own hair and make-up, even better. I like it to be fun.
I love theater because it's just me and the audience. It's the litmus test in acting, to be able to sustain a performance over one, two or three hours.
I was very lucky. I left college, and Richard Eyre was in charge of the National Theater. I was offered the lead in 'The Seagull' with no experience and went on to do five plays there.
If I were in politics, I'd make both left and right sit down and make good decisions about national health. It's a huge problem, and it is something we all should be part of.
The only time I ever spend alone is when I am working or when my husband is away filming. I put the kids to bed and have an hour and a half in the evening for myself.
I use my awards as doorstops. Others are in the office or in little cubbyholes in our library - they go between the books, because they actually look like arty pieces.
Literature is reflecting what is happening in life. More and more women are having relationships with younger men. It's partly that women are not losing their figures now.
You don't learn from good people - they've found what works for them and are completely original; you learn from the people who are bad. You think: 'Oh dear, I'm not going to do that.'
When I was 14, I told my mother I intended to be in the House of Commons in the morning, in court in the afternoon and on stage in the evening. She realized then a fantasist had been born.
What interests me about life most is people, and the why of the world. That's what theater looks at: it examines life, and gives it a cohesiveness that life doesn't have.
You can be moved by a performance on set, but when you see it on screen, it does nothing. Yet there will be someone you simply didn't notice on set that on screen: bam!
There are a lot of little lessons that can be taught around the home without sitting a child down and boring them to death with your philosophy of life!

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