Peaky Blinders has paid a very touching tribute to Helen McCrory, who of course played Polly Gray in the hit series.

Last week, Damian Lewis shared the incredibly sad news that his wife Helen McCrory had died of cancer at the age of 52. 

McCrory was a national treasure, best-known for her renowned stage career and her iconic film roles in the Harry Potter franchise, The Queen and Skyfall. She also starred in hit TV productions such as Quiz, Anna Karenina and Roadkill

But the role that McCrory has become beloved for in recent years is Polly Gray in BBC drama Peaky Blinders

Polly – lovingly known as ‘aunt Pol’ – is of course the headstrong, no-nonsense matriarch in the Shelby family. She has headed up the family since the 1920s gangster series started back in 2013. Peaky Blinders is currently filming its sixth season, and a film has been confirmed, but it is not known what will happen to McCrory’s inimitable character. 

In the meanwhile, the cast and crew have been sharing their touching tributes to McCrory with fans since the sad news was announced. 

“I am broken-hearted to lose such a dear friend,” Cillian Murphy, who plays Thomas Shelby, said in a statement to the PA news agency obtained by the Evening Standard.

He continued: “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.”

The official Peaky Blinders Instagram shared a tribute, reading: “Helen’s performance as Polly Gray was inspirational, joyous, transgressive, hilarious and incredibly moving.

“As a person she was off-the-scale charismatic, and deeply caring. We feel so privileged to have worked with her over the last decade. All our thoughts and love are with Damian and family.”

As filming for the new series continues, the account has also paid tribute by sharing a moving photo of a clapper board with an illustration of Polly’s face and “Rest in peace, Helen” drawn onto it. The rolling hills of some of the Peaky Blinders set is seen in the background.

Hundreds of thousands of fans have liked the photo and have shared their sadness in the comments section. 

While McCrory’s legacy includes so many incredible roles, this was the perfect tribute for those who will always remember her as aunt Pol.

Images: BBC

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