Always in their hearts. Damian Lewis paid tribute to his late wife, Helen McCrory, while speaking about her involvement in the annual Soccer Aid charity tournament in England.
“When she came to Soccer Aid the very first time [in 2006] and I got into my hotel room up in Manchester in The Lowry, it was covered in Union Jack bunting and England flags everywhere, which she had gone out and bought and decorated the room with,” the Homeland alum, 51, recalled during an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Thursday, June 9. This year’s tournament will mark the fifth time that Lewis has taken part in the charity event, which features English celebrities and soccer legends playing against a team of international players to raise money for UNICEF U.K. “So, she’s with us. … She’s with us again this year.”
McCrory’s spirit was also felt at the memorial service that Lewis recently held for her. The memorial was attended by some of the Peaky Blinders actress’ famous friends, including Helena Bonham Carter and Bodyguard star Keeley Hawes.
“That [service] we had the other day … was a special day, I’m very glad [so many people] could have been part of it,” he said. “She was celebrated by, you know, her tribe, her profession, the acting profession – actors, directors, producers, writers – all showed up and she’s much, much missed,” the Billions star added, describing his late wife as a “fabulous human being.”
In April 2021, Lewis, who married McCrory in 2007, revealed that the Skyfall actress had died at the age of 52, following a private battle with breast cancer. “I’m heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family,” the Golden Globe nominee — who shares daughter Manon, 15, and son Gulliver, 14, with his late wife — wrote via Twitter at the time. “She died as she lived. Fearlessly.”
He continued: “God, we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”
In the days following her death, Lewis gushed about the Harry Potter star in a touching eulogy for the Sunday Times, writing that she was “an even more brilliant person than she was an actress.”
“I’ve never known anyone able to enjoy life as much,” he continued in the April 2021 essay. “Her ability to be in the present and enjoy the moment was inspirational. Nor was she interested in navel-gazing. No real interest in self-reflection; she believed in looking out, not in. Which is why she was able to turn her light so brightly on others.”
The England native added that their children “have in them the fearlessness, wit, curiosity, talent and beauty of their mother,” and revealed that before her death, McCrory wanted them to know that she had “lived the life I wanted to” and loved them deeply. “She’s shown no fear, no bitterness, no self-pity, only armed us with the courage to go on and insisted that no one be sad, because she is happy.”
Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, also shared a heartfelt tribute to his onscreen mother shortly after her death “I never took the chance to tell her, but she helped shape me as a person so much — on & off screen,” the 33-year-old wrote via Instagram at the time. “She was always relentlessly herself — razor sharp wit – silver tongued – kind & warm hearted — she suffered no fools yet had time for everyone — thank you for lighting the way forward & holding my hand when I needed it xx.”
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