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Helen McCrory

Helen McCrory British actress

British actress
Helen McCrory
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro British actress
Is Actor Stage actor Film actor
From United Kingdom
Type Film, Television, Stage and Radio
Gender female
Birth 17 August 1968, London, UK
Age: 51 years
Star sign LeoLeo
Spouse: Damian Lewis
Height: 1.6002 m
Drama Centre London
Officer of the Order of the British Empire 2017
The details


Helen Elizabeth McCrory, OBE (born 17 August 1968) is a British actress.

McCrory portrayed Cherie Blair in both The Queen (2006) and The Special Relationship (2010). She also portrayed Francoise in the film Charlotte Gray (2001), Narcissa Malfoy in the final three Harry Potter films, Mama Jeanne in Martin Scorsese's family film Hugo (2011), Clair Dowar in the James Bond film Skyfall (2012), Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders (2013–present), Emma Banville in Fearless (2017) and Kathryn Villiers in MotherFatherSon (2019).

Early life

McCrory was born in Paddington. Her mother, Anne (née Morgans), is Welsh and her father, Iain McCrory, is a diplomat from Glasgow, Scotland. She is the eldest of three children.

She was educated at Queenswood School near Hatfield, Hertfordshire and then spent a year living in Italy. Upon her return to Britain, she began studying acting at the Drama Centre in London.


McCrory won Third Prize at the Ian Charleson Awards for her 1993 performance as Rose Trelawny in Trelawny of the 'Wells' at the National Theatre. In 2002 she was nominated for a London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress (for playing Elena in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya at the Donmar Warehouse). She was later nominated for a 2006 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for her role as Rosalind in As You Like It in London's West End. In April 2008, she made a "compelling" Rebecca West in a production of Ibsen's Rosmersholm at the Almeida Theatre, London.

She appeared in Charles II: The Power and The Passion (2003), as Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine, and in supporting roles in such films as Interview with the Vampire (1994), Charlotte Gray (2001), The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), and Casanova (2005). In The Queen (2006) she played Cherie Blair, a role she reprised in Peter Morgan's follow-up The Special Relationship.

She appeared in a modernised TV adaptation of Frankenstein. Her first pregnancy forced her to pull out of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), in which she had been cast as Bellatrix Lestrange (she was replaced by Helena Bonham Carter). McCrory was later cast as Bellatrix's sister Narcissa Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, released in July 2009. McCrory reprised her role in the final films, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2; McCrory's performance was well received by fans of the books. She also played the principal villain role of Rosanna Calvierri in the episode "The Vampires of Venice" of the BBC television series Doctor Who.

McCrory starred in The Last of the Haussmans at the Royal National Theatre, which began 12 June 2012. The production was broadcast to cinemas around the world on 11 October 2012 through the National Theatre Live programme.

In 2013, McCrory narrated poetry for The Love Book App, an interactive anthology of love literature developed by Allie Byrne Esiri. Again, in 2013 McCrory played 'Lady Macbeth' at the Little Angel Theatre. The same year, she started playing Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders.

In 2014, McCrory played the title role in the National Theatre's production of Medea, directed by Carrie Cracknell. Also in 2014, McCrory made a guest appearance on the TV series Penny Dreadful. She returned as a regular for the show's second season, playing the main antagonist.

In August 2016, McCrory was confirmed to play Emma Banville in ITV drama series Fearless, which began airing in June 2017.

Personal life

On 4 July 2007, McCrory married actor Damian Lewis. They have a daughter, Manon (b. 8 September 2006), and a son, Gulliver (b. 2 November 2007). They live in north London. She is an honorary patron of the London children's charity Scene & Heard.

McCrory was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to drama.

She now lives in Suffolk.

During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic McCrory and Lewis supported Feed NHS, a scheme to give food from high street restaurants to NHS staff, and had raised £1m for the charity by early April of that year. The initiative started in London but following its success plans were announced to roll it out to other cities in the UK.


Year Title Role Venue(s)
1990 The Importance of Being Earnest Gwendolen Fairfax
Teechers Gail Saunders
Macbeth Witch
1991 Pride and Prejudice Lydia Bennet
Blood Wedding The Bride
1992 Fuente Ovejuna Jacinta
Don't Fool With Love Camille
1993 Trelawny of the 'Wells' Rose Trelawny
1994 Venice Preserved Belvidera
The Seagull Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya
1994–1995 The Devil's Disciple Judith Anderson
1995 Keely And Du Keely
Macbeth Lady Macbeth
1995–1996 Les Enfants Du Paradis Claire "Garance" Reine
1998 In a Little World of Our Own Deborah
How I Learned to Drive Li'I Bit
1999 The Triumph of Love Princess Leonide (alias Phocion)
2000–2001 Platonov Anna Petrovna
2002 Uncle Vanya Helena Andreyevna Serebryakova (Yelena)
Twelfth Night Olivia
2003–2004 Five Gold Rings Miranda
2004 Old Times Anna
2006 As You Like It Rosalind
Orson's Shadow Vivien Leigh
A Tribute to Look Back in Anger Helena Charles
2008 Rosmersholm Rebecca West
2010–2012 The Late Middle Classes Celia Smithers
2012 The Last of the Haussmans Libby Haussmans
2013 Macbeth at the Little Angel Theatre Lady Macbeth (voice)
2014 Medea Medea
2016 The Deep Blue Sea Hester Collyer

Awards and nominations

Year Title Award Category Result
1991 Blood Wedding Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards Best Actress Won
1993 Trelawny of the 'Wells' Ian Charleson Award Best Actress 3rd place
1995 Macbeth Shakespeare Globe Awards Richard Burton Award For Most Promising Newcomer Won
Streetlife Monte-Carlo Television Festival Best Actress Won
Royal Television Society Best Actress Won
1997 BAFTA Cymru Best Actress Won
The Fragile Heart London Film Critics' Circle Actress of the Year Nominated
2001 North Square London Film Critics' Circle Best Actress Won
Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Best Actress Won
2002 Uncle Vanya Evening Standard Theatre Awards Best Actress Nominated
2003 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Nominated
WhatsOnStage Awards Best Actress in a Play Nominated
2004 Charles II: The Power and The Passion Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2005 L.A. Television Awards Best Actress Nominated
2006 As You Like It WhatsOnStage Awards Best Actress in a Play Nominated
Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress Nominated
2007 The Queen London Film Critics' Circle Supporting Actress of the Year Nominated
2008 Rosmersholm Evening Standard Theatre Awards Best Actress (longlisted] Nominated
2011 The Late Middle Classes WhatsOnStage Awards Best Actress in a Play Nominated
2012 Royal Television Society Best Actress Nominated
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–Part 2 Gold Derby Awards Ensemble Cast Nominated
The Last of the Haussmans Evening Standard Theatre Awards Best Actress Nominated
2013 Glamour Awards Theatre Actress of the Year Won
WhatsOnStage Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Play Nominated
Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated
2014 Peaky Blinders Biarritz International Festival of Audiovisual Programming TV Series and Serials: Actress Won
Crime Thriller Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Medea Evening Standard Theatre Awards Best Actress Nominated
2015 Critics' Circle Theatre Award Best Actress Won
Penny Dreadful season 2 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2016 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
The Deep Blue Sea Evening Standard Theatre Awards Best Actress Nominated
WhatsOnStage Awards Best Actress in a Play Nominated
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 16 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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