Damian Lewis calls late wife Helen McCrory a 'fabulous human being' as he pays an emotional tribute to her

Peaky Blinders star Helen McCrory died of cancer aged 52

Damian Lewis
(Image credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Damian Lewis has called his late wife Helen McCrory a 'fabulous human being' as he paid an emotional tribute to her on Friday morning.

The Peaky Blinders star Helen McCrory died of cancer, aged 52, last April - leaving her fans shocked, as she hadn't revealed that she was ill.

A year after her death, and just a month after a special memorial service for her, the Homeland star has spoken openly about his late wife. As well as calling her fabulous he also said that she's 'with us' in spirit. 

Helen McCrory

(Image credit: Target Presse Agentur Gmbh/Getty Images)

Promoting Soccer Aid, a celebrity charity football game, on Good Morning Britain the actor told hosts, Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard, "She was a fabulous human being and people from all walks of life have been in touch to say what an impact she had on their lives."

He then went on to explain how Helen celebrated his first appearance playing for the team, “When she came to Soccer Aid the very first time and I got into my hotel room up in Manchester in The Lowry, it was covered in Union Jack bunting and England flags everywhere, which she had gone out and bought and decorated the room with.

“So she’s with us. She’s with us again this year," he added.

Helen had been very private about her cancer diagnosis - and even friends of the actress only knew about her cancer diagnosis days before she passed away

When Helen passed away Damian posted the news on Twitter, saying, "I’m 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 friends and family."

"God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you."

Helen was best known for her role as the Shelby family matriarch Polly Gray in the BBC drama Peaky Blinders, as well as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movie franchise. She also had roles in the James Bond film Skyfall and The Queen, in which she played Cherie Blair. Damian married Helen in 2007 and they had two children together.

Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance journalist - writing about the royals and celebrities for Woman & Home, fitness and beauty for the Evening Standard and how the world of work has changed due to the pandemic for the BBC. 


She also covers a variety of other subjects and loves interviewing leaders and innovators in the beauty, travel and wellness worlds for numerous UK and overseas publications. 


As a journalist, she has written thousands of profile pieces - interviewing CEOs, real-life case studies and celebrities - interviewing everyone from Emma Bunton to the founder of Headspace.