Helen McCrory was born in London in 1968, where she studied acting at the Drama Centre. She started her stage career in 1990 where she played Gwendoline in The Importance of Being Earnest and as Gail in Teechers. In the same year she also played one of the witches in in Macbeth. Her 1993 performance as Rose Trelawny in Trelawny of the ‘Wells’ that brought her to attention winning an Ian Charleson Award.
McCrory then went to play numerous roles in the West End, more notable her 1995 role of Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, winning the Richard Burton Award For Most Promising Newcomer in the 1995 Shakespeare Globe Awards. She was later nominated for three awards for her role as Yelena in Uncle Vanya and two other awards in 2006 including an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of Rosalind in As You Like It at the Wyndham’s Theatre.
Her next acclaimed performance was in 2010 for her role of Celia Smithers in The Late Middle Classes at the Donmar Warehouse. Her award winning shows didn't stop there, later playing Libby in The Last Haussmans at the National Theatre, alongside Rory Kinnear and her title role in Medea at the Olivier Theatre also brought her to attention.
McCrory is not only distinguished in the theatre world but has also made many appearances in TV and film, more famously her appearance as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series, Mama Jeanne in Martin Scorsese’s film Hugo (2011), Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders and Clair Dowar in the Daniel Craig James Bond film Skyfall (2012). She has also appeared in Doctor Who, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death (2015) film and as Dr Victoria Frankenstein in Frankenstein.
Her last London stage credit was in The Deep Blue Sea at the Lyttelton Theatre in 2016. Helen McCrory passed away at the age of 52 on 16 April 2021.