Helen McCrory

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Helen McCrory
Helen McCrory portrait.jpg
McCrory in 2016
Born Helen Elizabeth McCrory
(1968-08-17) 17 August 1968 (age 49)
Paddington, London, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Damian Lewis (m. 2007)
Children 2

Helen Elizabeth McCrory, OBE (born 17 August 1968)[1][2] is an English 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 film Hugo (2011); Clair Dowar in the James Bond film Skyfall (2012); Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders (2013–present); and Emma Banville in Fearless (2017).

Early life[edit]

McCrory was born in Paddington, London. Her mother, Anne (née Morgans), is 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.


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.[4] 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).[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] In April 2008, she made a "compelling" Rebecca West in a production of Ibsen's Rosmersholm at the Almeida Theatre, London.[5]

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'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.[6][7] 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.[8]

In 2013, McCrory narrated poetry for The Love Book App, an interactive anthology of love literature developed by Allie Byrne Esiri.[9] 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.

In August 2016, McCrory was confirmed to play Emma Banville in ITV drama series Fearless, which began airing in June 2017.[10]

Personal life[edit]

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).[11] They live in London. She is an honorary patron of the London children's charity Scene & Heard.[12]

McCrory was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to drama.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Interview with the Vampire 2nd Whore
Uncovered Lola
1997 The James Gang Bernadette James
1998 Dad Savage Chris
2000 Hotel Splendide Lorna Bull
2001 Charlotte Gray Francoise
2002 Count of Monte Cristo, TheThe Count of Monte Cristo Valentina Villefort
Deep Down Dana Short film
2003 Does God Play Football Sarah Ward Short film
2004 Enduring Love Mrs. Logan
2005 Casanova Casanova's Mother
2006 Normal for Norfolk Clare Short film
Queen, TheThe Queen Cherie Blair
2007 Becoming Jane Mrs. Radcliffe
2008 Flashbacks of a Fool Peggy Tickell
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Narcissa Malfoy
Fantastic Mr. Fox Mrs. Bean (voice)
2010 Mrs. Jones
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Narcissa Malfoy
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Hugo Mama Jeanne (Jehanne D'Alcy)
2012 Flying Blind Dr. Frankie Lethbridge
Skyfall Clair Dowar MP
The Cable Club (Soho) Stella Short film
2014 A Little Chaos Madame Françoise Le Nôtre
2015 The Woman in Black: Angel of Death Jean Hogg
Bill Queen Elizabeth I
2016 Their Finest Sophie Smith
2017 Loving Vincent Louise Chevalier


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Full Stretch Vicki Goodall Episode: "Risky Business"
Performance Jean Rice Episode: "The Entertainer"
1995 Screen Two Jo Episode: "Streetlife"
Dirty Old Town Claire
1996 The Fragile Heart Nicola Pascoe 3 episodes
Witness Against Hitler Freya von Moltke
1997 Trial & Retribution Anita Harris 2 episodes
1998 Spoonface Steinberg Mother
Stand and Deliver Christina
1999 Split Second Angie Anderson
2000 Anna Karenina Anna Karenina 4 episodes
North Square Rose Fitzgerald 10 episodes
2001 In a Land of Plenty Mary Freeman 3 episodes
2002 Jury, TheThe Jury Rose Davies 6 episodes
Dickens Kate Dickens 3 episodes
Dead Gorgeous Antonia Ashton
2003 Lucky Jim Margaret Peel
Carla Carla French
Charles II: The Power and The Passion Lady Castlemaine (Barbara Villiers)
2004 Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking Jenny Vandeleur
2005 Messiah 4 : The Harrowing Dr. Rachel Price
2007 Frankenstein Dr. Victoria Frankenstein
2009 Life Amanda Puryer 5 episodes
2010 Doctor Who Rosanna Calvierri Episode:"The Vampires of Venice"
Special Relationship, TheThe Special Relationship Cherie Blair
2011 Phineas and Ferb Lucy Fletcher Episode "My Fair Goalie"
2012 We'll Take Manhattan Lady Clare Rendlesham
Leaving Julie Ranmore 3 episodes
2013–present Peaky Blinders Aunt Polly / Polly Gray 19 episodes
2014 Inside No. 9 Tabitha Episode: "The Harrowing"
Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This Mary Kay
2014–2015 Penny Dreadful Evelyn Poole (Madame Kali) 12 episodes
2017 Fearless Emma Banville 6 episodes


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[14] Hester Collyer

Awards and nominations[edit]

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 Queen, TheThe Queen London Film Critics' Circle Supporting Actress of the Year 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


  1. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at ancestry.com
  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". Debretts.com. 17 August 1968. Archived from the original on 27 June 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Lee, The. "Helen McCrory profile". thescotsman.com. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Fowler, Rebecca. "Triumphant first acts". Sunday Times. 13 March 1994.
  5. ^ Spencer, Charles (27 May 2008). "Rosmersholm: passions lost in the gloom". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  6. ^ Adler, Shawn (12 November 2007). 'Harry Potter' Cast Grows: Helen McCrory Joins 'Half-Blood Prince'. MTV. Retrieved 2 April 2008. 
  7. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Narcissa cast in Potter 6". Newsround. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2007. 
  8. ^ "The Last of the Haussmans" at National Theatre web site
  9. ^ "The Love Book App, poetry read by great actors". Iliterature.net. Retrieved 2017-07-24. 
  10. ^ "ITV commissions six part drama series Fearless". ITV Press Centre. ITV. 16 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2017. 
  11. ^ "''The Mirror'' article". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Who We Are". Scene & Heard. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N13. 
  14. ^ Billington, Michael (9 June 2016). "The Deep Blue Sea review – Helen McCrory blazes in passionate revival". The Guardian. 

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