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Helen McCrory

Helen McCrory
McCrory at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, February 2015
Born Helen Elizabeth McCrory
(1968-08-17) 17 August 1968
London, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Damian Lewis (m. 2007)
Children 2

Helen Elizabeth McCrory (born 17 August 1968)[1][2] is a British actress. She portrayed Cherie Blair in both The Queen (2006) and The Special Relationship (2010). She also portrayed Narcissa Malfoy in the final three Harry Potter films; Mama Jeanne in Martin Scorsese's family mystery film Hugo (2011); Clair Dowar in Sam Mendes' Skyfall (2012); and Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders (2013–).


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Roles 4
    • Film and television 4.1
    • Stage production 4.2
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

McCrory was born in Welsh, and her father, Iain McCrory, is a diplomat from Glasgow, Scotland.[3] She is the eldest of three children. She was educated at Queenswood, a Hertfordshire boarding school, after which she spent a year living in Italy. Upon her return to Britain, she began studying acting at the Drama Centre in London.[4]


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.[5] 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.[6]

She appeared in The Special Relationship.[7]

She appeared in a modernised TV adaptation of Frankenstein's Monster, simply called 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.[8][9] 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.[10]

In 2013, McCrory narrated poetry for The Love Book App, an interactive anthology of love literature developed by Allie Byrne Esiri.[11] Again, in 2013 McCrory played 'Lady Macbeth' at the Little Angel Theatre. She plays 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.

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).[12] They live in London. She is an Honorary Patron of the London children's charity Scene & Heard.[13]


Film and television

Year Title Role Other notes
1993 Full Stretch Vicki Goodall Television series
Episode: "Risky Business"
Performance Jean Rice Television film
1994 Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles 2nd Whore Film
Uncovered Lola Film
1995 Streetlife Jo Television film
BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Actress
1995 Monte-Carlo Television Festival
Silver Nymph – Best Actress (winner)
1995 Royal Television Society – Best Actress (winner)
Rik Mayall Presents Dirty Old Town Claire Television film
1996 Fragile Heart, TheThe Fragile Heart Nicola Pascoe Mini-series
1997 Critics' Circle Awards – Best Actress (nominee)
Witness Against Hitler Freya von Moltke Television film
Scene Television series
Episode: "Environment"
"The People Are the Forest"
1997 James Gang, TheThe James Gang Bernadette James Film
Trial & Retribution Anita Harris Mini-series
1998 Spoonface Steinberg Mother Television film
Stand and Deliver Christina Television film
Dad Savage Chris Film
1999 Split Second Angie Anderson Television film
2000 Anna Karenina Anna Karenina Mini-series
Hotel Splendide Lorna Bull Film
North Square Rose Fitzgerald Television series
2001 Broadcasting Press Guild – Best Actress (winner)
2001 London Critics' Circle Awards – Best Actress (winner)
2001 In a Land of Plenty Mary Freeman Mini-series
Charlotte Gray Francoise Film
2002 Count of Monte Cristo, TheThe Count of Monte Cristo Valentina Villefort Film
Jury, TheThe Jury Rose Davies Mini-series
Dickens Kate Dickens Mini-series
Deep Down Dana Short film
Dead Gorgeous Antonia Ashton Television film
2003 Does God Play Football Sarah Ward Short film
Lucky Jim Margaret Peel Television film
Carla Carla French Television film
Charles II: The Power and The Passion Barbara Villiers Mini-series
Satellite Award – Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television (nominee)
2004/5 L.A. Television Awards – Best Actress (nominee)
2004 Enduring Love Mrs. Logan Film
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking Jenny Vandeleur Television film
2005 Messiah 4 : The Harrowing Dr. Rachel Price Mini-series
Casanova Casanova's Mother Film
2006 Normal for Norfolk Clare Short film
Queen, TheThe Queen Cherie Blair Film
2007 London Film Critics' Circle – Best British Actress in a Supporting Role (nominee)
Nominated: ALFS Award
2007 Becoming Jane Mrs. Radcliffe Film
Frankenstein Dr. Victoria Frankenstein Television film
2008 Flashbacks of a Fool Peggy Tickell Film
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Narcissa Malfoy Film
Fantastic Mr. Fox Mrs. Bean Film
Voice role
Life Amanda Puryer,
Mickey Rayborn's security specialist
Television series
2010 Doctor Who Rosanna Calvierri Television series
Episode: "The Vampires of Venice" Mrs. Jones Film
Special Relationship, TheThe Special Relationship Cherie Blair Television film
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Narcissa Malfoy Film
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Film
Hugo Mama Jeanne Film
Phineas and Ferb Lucy Fletcher Television series
Episode "My Fair Goalie"
2012 We'll Take Manhattan Lady Clare Rendlesham Television film
Flying Blind Frankie Film
Skyfall Clair Dowar Film
Leaving Julie Ranmore Mini-series
The Cable Club (Soho) Stella Short film
2013– Peaky Blinders Aunt Polly (Elizabeth) Gray, née Shelby Television series
2014 Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels – Best Actress in a Television Series (winner)
2014 Inside No. 9 Tabitha Television series
Episode: "The Harrowing"
A Little Chaos Madame Françoise Le Nôtre Film
Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This Mary Kay Television film
2014–15 Penny Dreadful Evelyn Poole Television series
2015 The Woman in Black: Angel of Death Jean Hogg Film
Bill Queen Elizabeth I Film
To Appomattox Julia Grant Mini-series
2016 Their Finest Hour and a Half Filming

Stage production

Year Title Role Other notes
1990 The Importance of Being Earnest Gwendoline
Teechers Gail
1990 Macbeth Witch
1991 Pride and Prejudice Lydia Bennet
Blood Wedding Bride 1992 Manchester Evening News – Best Actress (winner)
1992 Fuente Ovejuna Jacinta
Don't Fool With Love Camille
1993 Trelawny of the 'Wells' Rose Trelawny Ian Charleson Award Third Prize
1994 Venice Preserved Belvidera
The Seagull Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya
The Devil's Disciple Judith Anderson
1995 Keely And Du Keely
Macbeth Lady Macbeth 1995 Shakespeare Globe Awards – Richard Burton Award For Most Promising Newcomer (winner)
1996 Les Enfants Du Paradis Garance
1998 In a Little World of Our Own
How I Learned to Drive Li'I Bit
1999 The Triumph of Love Princess Leonide (alias Phocion)
2001 Platonov Anna Petrovna
2002 Uncle Vanya Yelena 2002 Evening Standard Theatre – Best Actress (nominee)
2003 What's On Stage Theatregoers' Choice Awards – Best Actress in a Play (nominee)
2003 Drama Desk Awards – Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (nominee) (Uncle Vanya)
Twelfth Night Olivia
2003 Five Gold Rings Miranda
2004 Old Times Anna
2006 As You Like It Rosalind 2006 What's On Stage Theatregoers' Choice Awards – Best Actress in a Play (nominee)
2006 Olivier Awards – Best Actress (nominee)
Orson's Shadow Vivien Leigh
A Tribute to Look Back in Anger Helena Charles
2008 Rosmersholm Rebecca West
2010–12 The Late Middle Classes Celia Smithers 2011 What's On Stage Theatregoers' Choice Awards – Best Actress in a Play (nominee)
2012 Royal Television Society – Best Actress (nominee)
2010 Energy Source Imagination
2011 Cries from the Heart: The Iron Rice Bowl
2012 The Last of the Haussmans Libby 2013 Glamour Awards – Theatre Actress of the Year (winner)
2013 What's On Stage Theatregoers' Choice Awards – Best Supporting Actress in a Play (nominee)
2013 Olivier Awards – Best Actress in a Supporting Role (nominee)
2013 Macbeth Lady Macbeth
2014 Medea Medea 2015 Critics' Circle Theatre Award – Actress (win)
2014 London Evening Standard Theatre awards – Actress (nominee)


  1. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at
  2. ^ "Mrs Damian Lewis, professionally known as Ms Helen McCrory Authorised Biography – Debrett's People of Today, Mrs Damian Lewis, professionally known as Ms Helen McCrory Profile". 17 August 1968. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Lee, The. "Helen McCrory profile". Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Fowler, Rebecca. "Triumphant first acts". Sunday Times. 13 March 1994.
  6. ^ Spencer, Charles (27 May 2008). "Rosmersholm: passions lost in the gloom". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Bamigboye, Baz (16 January 2009). "Why Gordon's so camera shy". Daily Mail (London). 
  8. ^ Adler, Shawn (12 November 2007). 'Harry Potter' Cast Grows: Helen McCrory Joins 'Half-Blood Prince'. MTV. Retrieved 2 April 2008. 
  9. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Narcissa cast in Potter 6".  
  10. ^ "The Last of the Haussmans" at National Theatre web site
  11. ^
  12. ^ 'The Mirror'' article"'". Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Who We Are". Scene & Heard. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 

External links

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