Helen McCrory

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Helen McCrory
BornHelen Elizabeth McCrory
(1968-08-17) 17 August 1968 (age 46)
London, England
Years active1990–present
Spouse(s)Damian Lewis (m. 2007)
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Helen McCrory
BornHelen Elizabeth McCrory
(1968-08-17) 17 August 1968 (age 46)
London, England
Years active1990–present
Spouse(s)Damian Lewis (m. 2007)

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

Early life[edit]

McCrory was born in Paddington, London. Her mother, Anne (née Morgans), is Welsh, and her father, Iain McCrory, is a Glasgow-born diplomat.[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).[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.[6]

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.[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 is playing the titular character in the National Theatre's production of Medea.

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


Film and television[edit]

YearTitleRoleOther notes
1993Full StretchVicki GoodallTelevision series
Episode: "Risky Business"
PerformanceJean RiceTelevision film
1994Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles2nd WhoreFilm
1995StreetlifeJoTelevision 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 TownClaireTelevision film
1996Fragile Heart, TheThe Fragile HeartNicola PascoeMini-series
1997 Critics' Circle Awards – Best Actress (nominee)
Witness Against HitlerFreya von MoltkeTelevision film
SceneTelevision series
Episode: "Environment"
"The People Are the Forest"
1997James Gang, TheThe James GangBernadette JamesFilm
Trial & RetributionAnita HarrisMini-series
1998Spoonface SteinbergMotherTelevision film
Stand and DeliverChristinaTelevision film
Dad SavageChrisFilm
1999Split SecondAngie AndersonTelevision film
2000Anna KareninaAnna KareninaMini-series
Hotel SplendideLorna BullFilm
North SquareRose FitzgeraldTelevision series
2001 Broadcasting Press Guild – Best Actress (winner)
2001 London Critics' Circle Awards – Best Actress (winner)
2001In a Land of PlentyMary FreemanMini-series
Charlotte GrayFrancoiseFilm
2002Count of Monte Cristo, TheThe Count of Monte CristoValentina VillefortFilm
Jury, TheThe JuryRose DaviesMini-series
DickensKate DickensMini-series
Deep DownDanaShort film
Dead GorgeousAntonia AshtonTelevision film
2003Does God Play FootballSarah WardShort film
Lucky JimMargaret PeelTelevision film
CarlaCarla FrenchTelevision film
Charles II: The Power and The PassionBarbara VilliersMini-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)
2004Enduring LoveMrs. LoganFilm
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk StockingMrs. VandeleurTelevision film
2005Messiah 4 : The HarrowingDr. Rachel PriceMini-series
CasanovaCasanova's MotherFilm
2006Normal for NorfolkClareShort film
Queen, TheThe QueenCherie BlairFilm
2007 London Film Critics' Circle – Best British Actress in a Supporting Role (nominee)
Nominated: ALFS Award
2007Becoming JaneMrs. RadcliffeFilm
FrankensteinDr. Victoria FrankensteinTelevision film
2008Flashbacks of a FoolPeggy TickellFilm
2009Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceNarcissa MalfoyFilm
Fantastic Mr. FoxMrs. BeanFilm
Voice role
LifeAmanda Puryer,
Mickey Rayborn's security specialist
Television series
2010Doctor WhoRosanna CalvierriTelevision series
Episode: "The Vampires of Venice" JonesFilm
Special Relationship, TheThe Special RelationshipCherie BlairTelevision film
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1Narcissa MalfoyFilm
2011Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2Film
HugoMama JeanneFilm
Phineas and FerbLucy FletcherTelevision series
Episode "My Fair Goalie"
2012We'll Take ManhattanLady Clare RendleshamTelevision film
Flying BlindFrankieFilm
SkyfallClair DowarFilm
LeavingJulie RanmoreMini-series
The Cable Club (Soho)StellaShort film
2013–14Peaky BlindersAunt Polly Gray (Shelby)Television series
2014 Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels – Best Actress in a Television Series (winner)
2014Inside No. 9TabithaTelevision series
Episode: "The Harrowing"
A Little ChaosMadame Françoise Le NôtreFilm
Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like ThisMary KayTelevision film
2014–presentPenny DreadfulMadame KaliTelevision series
2015The Woman in Black: Angel of DeathJean HoggFilm
BillQueen Elizabeth IFilm
To AppomattoxJulia GrantMini-series

Stage production[edit]

YearTitleRoleOther notes
1990The Importance of Being EarnestGwendoline
1991Pride And PrejudiceLydia Bennet
Blood WeddingBride1992 Manchester Evening News – Best Actress (winner)
1992Fuente OvejunaJacinta
Don't Fool With LoveCamille
1993Trelawny of the 'Wells'Rose TrelawnyNational Theatre
McCrory won the Ian Charleson Award Third Prize
1994Venice PreservedBelvidera
The SeagullNina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya
The Devil's DiscipleJudith Anderson
1995Keely And DuKeely
MacbethLady Macbeth1995 Shakespeare Globe Awards – Richard Burton Award For Most Promising Newcomer (winner)
1996Les Enfants Du ParadisGarance
1998In a Little World of Our Own
How I Learned to DriveLi'I Bit
1999The Triumph of LovePrincess Leonide (alias Phocion)
2001PlatonovAnna Petrovna
2002Uncle VanyaYelena2002 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 NightOlivia
2003Five Gold RingsMiranda
2004Old TimesAnna
2006As You Like ItRosalind2006 What's On Stage Theatregoers' Choice Awards – Best Actress in a Play (nominee)
2006 Olivier Awards – Best Actress (nominee)
Orson's ShadowVivien Leigh
A Tribute to Look Back in AngerHelena Charles
2008RosmersholmRebecca West
2010–12The Late Middle ClassesCelia Smithers2011 What's On Stage Theatregoers' Choice Awards – Best Actress in a Play (nominee)
2012 Royal Television Society – Best Actress (nominee)
2010Energy SourceImagination
2011Cries from the Heart: The Iron Rice Bowl
2012The Last of the HaussmansLibby2013 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)
2013MacbethLady Macbeth


  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. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Lee, The. "Helen McCrory profile". thescotsman.com. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  4. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0567031/
  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". Newsround. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2007. 
  10. ^ "The Last of the Haussmans" at National Theatre web site
  11. ^ http://www.iliterature.net/thelovebook/#the-actors
  12. ^ "''The Mirror'' article". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Who We Are". Scene & Heard. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 

External links[edit]