AceShowbiz - "Peaky Blinders" actor Cillian Murphy has paid emotional tribute to his TV aunt, Helen McCrory, following Friday's (16Apr21) shocking announcement of the British star's death - while Helen Mirren, Matt Lucas, and Taron Egerton have added their own dedications.
McCrory's husband, "Homeland" 's Damian Lewis, stunned showbusiness circles with a tragic tweet announcing his wife's passing, aged only 52, following a private and "heroic battle" with cancer, and Cillian is among scores of big names devastated by the news.
"I am broken-hearted to lose such a dear friend," the Irishman wrote. "Helen was a beautiful, caring, funny, compassionate human being."
"She was also a gifted actor - fearless and magnificent. She elevated and made humane every scene, every character she played."
"It was a privilege to have worked with this brilliant woman, to have shared so many laughs over the years."
"I will dearly miss my pal. My love and thoughts are with Damian and her family."
"I played a teenage boy who was besotted with her," he penned on Twitter. "It wasn't difficult; she was kind, funny, awe-inspiringly talented and was full of so much life."
"I bumped into her and Damian many times over the past ten or so years and she was always the same; full of warmth, cheekiness and fun."
"I will always remember the scenes we shared in that play. She helped make me a better actor. She was amazing. Condolences to her family."
Asa Butterfield, who also starred opposite Helen as a youngster, in 2011's "Hugo", wrote, "This really really hurts. Thank you Helen, for your wisdom, your talent, your generosity. You lit up every room, and the world will miss you," while British actor Rufus Sewell noted that, like most, he was "Blindsided by this (news)..."
Piers Wenger, BBC director of drama, the U.K. broadcast network for "Peaky Blinders", said in a statement, "Helen was one of the finest actresses this country will ever see. From (Harry) Potter to Peaky, from (Tony) Blair to (James) Bond, Helen's fearlessness made every part she played unique and unmissable."
"Her body of work speaks of her extraordinary talent, what it doesn't speak of is her kindness, intelligence and sense of fun. This is too soon, too cruel. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this incredibly sad time."
The official Twitter account for "Peaky Blinders" simply shared, "All our love and thoughts are with Helen's family. Rest in peace," alongside a shot of Helen as Polly Gray.
The Wizarding World Twitter account, meanwhile, which represents the "Harry Potter" film franchise, for which McCrory took on both Bellatrix Lestrange and her sister, Narcissa Malfoy, tweeted, "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved Helen McCrory, who played Narcissa Malfoy with such depth and brilliance in the Harry Potter film series. She was a wonderful actor and a very dear friend; Harry Potter fans will miss her very much."
A representative for the Official James Bond Twitter account posted a statement on behalf of franchise producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, who stated, "We are devastated to hear of the passing of the extraordinarily talented and gracious Helen McCrory. We were honoured to have worked with her on Skyfall and send our heartfelt condolences to Damian, Manon and Gulliver."
"Skyfall" director Sam Mendes cited his star's "astonishing talent," calling her "a fabulous person, and an absolute true original. The film and theatre world has lost a one of a kind actress, and her family and friends have been robbed of an extraordinary, indomitable spirit. The world will be an infinitely poorer place without Helen in it."
Aisling Bea, McCrory's co-star in 2020 British miniseries "Quiz", tweeted, "Utterly heartbreaking, what a loss. Every actor looks & looked up to Helen McCrory - so brilliant and gripping and transformative and those who knew her as a friend really loved her. On Quiz last year & she was just so bloody cool, with funny anecdotes & stories and worrying about remembering all her lines."
"I could not believe that THE Helen McCrory was pacing up & down, worried about lines, she was so down to earth & openly vulnerable, all for the craft & being as good as possible. Then we watched her in the courtroom pretty much do a one-woman monologue and be incredibly excellent and not forget a thing. #RIPHelenMcCrory Thoughts go out to her family and friends."
Dame Helen Mirren, meanwhile, added, "A great actress and a great person. this is so very very sad."
Further tributes were made by actor/director Noel Clarke, who noted McCrory was "always lovely" to him when they worked together, and her "Anna Karenina" miniseries co-star Kevin McKidd, who said he was "utterly heartbroken... Your talent, humanity and passion for life will be remembered by me and everyone your life touched with deep gratitude. Rest In Peace dear one."
Comedian Matt Lucas, meanwhile, was among many who mentioned Helen's tireless work for charitable causes including the U.K.'s National Health Service, for which she and Lewis fundraised to help supply meals for stretched hospital workers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She last appeared on television on "Good Morning Britain" last month (Mar21), alongside Lewis, as they talked about the philanthropic efforts of The Prince's Trust, for which she and her husband were longtime ambassadors.
"Helen McCrory will be remembered not just for her remarkable stage and screen performances, but also for her selflessness and generosity," Matt said. "She and Damian were the motor driving FeedNHS, working tirelessly during the pandemic to raise millions for others. What a tremendous loss."
McCrory and Damian shared two children, 14-year-old daughter Manon and son Gulliver, 13. The couple married in 2007.