Helen McCrory, best known for playing the matriarchal Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders alongside Cillian McCrory, died in April 2021 before filming could finally begin.
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For the first time in its nearly 10-year history, a new series of Peaky Blinders will begin without Polly Grey, the fearless top model.
Actress Helen McCrory failed miserably in her battle with breast cancer in April 2021 at the age of 52, before starting filming for the social show’s sixth and final series. black BBC.
Helen leaves behind her husband Damian Lewis and their two young children.
Fans of the actress were also deeply saddened by the news, which was shared in a heartbreaking statement by Damian’s widow.
The actor wrote: “It is with great sadness that I announce that after a heroic battle with cancer, beautiful and brave woman Helen McCrory has passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by waves of love. from friends and family.
“She died while she was alive. It was terrifying. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have her in our lives.”
The news came as a huge shock as Helen bravely chose to keep her health a closely guarded secret as she continued to work.
© Caryn Mandabach Productions Ltd. 2019)
Just weeks before her death, Helen appeared on Good Morning Britain to promote her charity work.
Sitting next to her supportive husband Damian, Helen shared about working with the Prince’s Trust during the lockdown.
In the middle of a conversation, host Kate Garraway accidentally asked: “How are you, Helen?
Good morning UK / Twitter)
“You sound a little slurred. Do you have a sore throat?”
The Peaky Blinders star grinned in response: “I’ve got a baby!”
Six weeks later, news of Helen’s death reminded fans of the actress’ last television appearance and praised the star for continuing her charity work until the very end.
Good morning UK / Twitter)
As well as her work with the Prince’s Trust, Helen and her husband Damian have also raised more than £1m for Feed NHS during the first coronavirus lockdown to deliver hot meals to frontline staff.
After her death, one of Helen’s close friends revealed that the actress had asked her friends to swear to secrecy about her battle with cancer.
Carrie Cracknell, a trusted member of Helen’s inner circle who also directed her in Medea’s stage production, said friends had ‘swore to secrecy’ because she wanted to ‘live life to the fullest and committed. ‘ with charity work she didn’t want. overshadowed by reports of her deteriorating health.
According to Carrie, only ‘very, very few people’ know Helen is struggling backstage.
Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, Carrie said: “Helen wants to be private about her illness and I understand why. When you live in public you have to find space to protect the things that are meant for you. own for yourself.
“Very, very few people know, and I only did it because we were planning to move a show to Broadway and we had to cancel it because she was in treatment. We were sworn to secrecy.
“She needs to be lived to the fullest, dedicated and taking things very seriously, such as family and charity work, her years have been more for her than ever.”
(Image by Gareth Cattermole/Getty)
In tribute to her friend’s brave battle, Carrie said: “Helen has faced it with an absolutely phenomenal level of courage and humor and is teaching those around her how to live. That’s it. something very remarkable.”
Tragically, Helen could have appeared in the final Peaky Blinders series if it weren’t for the Covid pandemic.
Filming was delayed until January 2021 and Helen was unable to attend due to a cancer diagnosis.
Cillian Murphy, who stars as Tommy Shelby, said the entire Peaky cast was ‘deeply saddened’ to begin filming without the actress.
Creator Steven Knight said: “Peaky will never be without the presence of Aunt Polly.”
“We decided very early on that we needed to move on and we needed to get it done. We hope that the series will be a testament to Helen,” he added.
Both Murphy and Knight assured fans that ‘the presence of Helen and her character is still felt in the series, and it’s been a huge part of Tommy’s journey through the season.’
Along with her role in Peaky Blinders, Helen will also be remembered for her role as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films.
In homage to the time, her on-screen husband Jason Issacs said working with the actress was a “highlight” in his life.
Helen rose to fame in the 1990s and went on to star in films including Interview with a Vampire and The Queen, where she received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Cherie Blair.
Peaky Blinders Series 6 begins on BBC One Sunday the 27th at 9pm
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/how-helen-mccrory-hid-illness-26338146 How Helen McCrory hid her illness before her death but tragically missed it in Peaky Blinders