Helen McCroy has been described as “one of the greatest actresses of her generation” in a touching tribute from the creator of Peaky Blinders.
Stephen Knight, the creator and writer of the Brummie drama series, worked closely with the 52-year-old on the show.
Helen was cast as Polly Gray (nee Shelby) – the matriarch of the Shelby family and the treasurer of the criminal gang in Birmingham.
Paying tribute to his friend, Steven said, “Helen was one of the great actresses of her generation.
“She was so powerful and controlled and that is so sad.”
Helen had a great career including roles in Harry Potter and James Bond film Skyfall.
She was named OBE in 2017 for her contribution to the drama.
Her actor husband Damian Lewis announced her death in a heartbreaking statement today.
He wrote, “I am broken to announce that the beautiful and powerful Mrs. Helen McCrory has died peacefully as home after a heroic battle with cancer, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family.
“She died while she was alive. Fearless. God, we love her and we know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Now go, kid, in the air and thank you.”
Other honors have been received for the star, including from J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books.
She wrote: “I am devastated to learn of the death of Helen McCrory, an extraordinary actress and a wonderful woman who left us far too soon. My deepest condolences go to her family, especially her husband and children. Simple heartbreaking news. “
The National Theater tweeted, “We are devastated to hear that Helen McCrory has died and will miss her terribly. Our thoughts are with her friends and family at this very sad time.”