Helen Elizabeth McCrory was born on August 17, 1968, in London, England, although she spent much of her childhood abroad in Cameroon, Madagascar, Nigeria, Norway, Paris, Tanzania, and Zanzibar due to her father’s career as a diplomat. However, she was kept rooted to her home country through her education. She attended boarding school in Hertfordshire and trained at the Drama Centre London before beginning her acting career in the United Kingdom.
McCrory has found success in both television and theater, having won awards such as Manchester Evening News’ Best Actress for her performance in National Theatre’s Blood Wedding in 1991 and Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress for her performance in the drama series North Square. McCrory has also had roles in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), Hugo (2011), and Skyfall (2012).
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McCrory portrayed Narcissa Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. She was originally cast as Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix but had to pull out when she became pregnant. After instead being cast as Narcissa, she read all of the Harry Potter books to prepare for her role. She said in a 2011 interview with Parade that she “felt very welcomed as soon as [she] came on set” and became best friends with Helena Bonham Carter, the actress who plays her on-screen sister, Bellatrix Lestange. In a 2011 interview with the Los Angeles Times, she revealed her thoughts about her character, saying, “she is a wonderful mother, and she protects her son Draco, and she is changed through her son.” She loved her time in the Harry Potter series and was sad to see it end, saying that it was a shame that she didn’t join the cast earlier and that Narcissa’s part wasn’t very big. When asked if she would like to return in any future Potter films, she gave a very enthusiastic “yes”:
Oh my gosh, yes, of course. It’s a very magical story. It’s a rare occasion to be part of something that, as a mother, I feel very proud to be a part of. It’s wonderful to be part of a children’s world that’s very positive and fights for good. To do that in modern society is a very complex and difficult thing that does need a lot of intelligence and bravery and should be encouraged in our young, because they’re all we’ve got.
McCrory is an honorary patron of Scene & Heard, a British charity that mentors inner-city youth in London. She also participated in BGC Partner’s 9th annual Charity Day in London on September 11, 2013, an event that raises funds for charities around the world, and attended the BFIs LUMINOUS Gala charity dinner in London in November 2013. Later that month, she and her husband made a donation to the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation, a charity in memory of Allie Wylie, a seventeen-year-old girl who died from cancer.
Connect with Helen McCrory
Connect with Helen McCrory
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