Helen McCrory death
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Helen McCrory death: ‘Very, very few people knew’ about star’s cancer battle

She 'swore friends to secrecy'

Following the death of actress Helen McCrory it’s been revealed that “very, very few people” knew about her cancer battle.

Last night (April 16), it was revealed that Peaky Blinders star Helen had died “peacefully at home”.

Her husband Damian Lewis broke the news and said he was “heartbroken”.

Now friends of Helen have started to pay tribute.

Carrie Cracknell, who directed Helen in a state production of Medea, has revealed she was one of a few people who knew about the star’s diagnosis.

Helen McCrory on the red carpet
Friends were ‘sworn to secrecy’ over Helen’s diagnosis (Credit: Splash News)

What did Carrie say about the death of Helen McCrory?

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, Carrie revealed that Helen kept her cancer battle quiet so that she could continue to work.

She said friends were “sworn to secrecy” as Helen underwent gruelling cancer treatment.

“Very, very few people” knew about her illness and she continued her charity work until just a few weeks before her death at the age of just 52.

Read more: Tributes flood in as death of Helen McCrory is announced

Carrie said Helen didn’t want her illness overshadowing her family or professional life.

She said: “Helen wanted to be very private about her illness and I understand why. When you live in the public spotlight you have to find space to protect the things that are just for you.

Helen wanted to be very private about her illness and I understand why.

“Very, very few people knew. I only did because we were planning to transfer a show to Broadway and we had to cancel that because she was undergoing treatment. We were sworn to secrecy.”

She added: “Her need to be fully alive and be committed and to take things incredibly seriously, such as her family and charity work, defined her last few years for her as much as ever.”

Carrie added that Peaky Blinders star Helen faced up to her cancer “with a level of bravery and humour that was completely extraordinary”.

“It was a very remarkable thing,” she added.

Helen McCrory and Damian lewis
Helen’s husband Damian Lewis announced her death yesterday (Credit: Splash News)

What has Damian Lewis said about his wife’s death?

Posting on Twitter, Damian said: “I’m heartbroken to announce that after an heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home.”

He added she was “surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family”.

Read more: Helen McCrory’s last televised interview devastates fans

“She died as she lived. Fearlessly.

“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.”

Head to our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and pay your tribute to Helen McCrory following her death.