Camden arts charity sets up award in memory of actor Helen McCrory

Helen McCrory at UCS Hampstead school, through her charity work for HVH Arts

Helen McCrory at UCS Hampstead school, through her charity work for HVH Arts - Credit: David Jensen

A Camden arts charity has set up an award to help disadvantaged children achieve their dreams in memory of the “mesmerising” actor Helen McCrory.  

The 52-year-old died of cancer on Friday, triggering an outpouring of tributes for the actor who shone in film, TV and theatre productions such as Harry Potter, Peaky Blinders and Uncle Vanya.

Ms McCrory’s husband, the actor Damian Lewis, said: "She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives.” 

Further to her career on the screen and stage, Ms McCrory, a Tufnell Park resident, was also renowned for her charity work, including in her role as patron for HVH Arts since 2013.  

Debbi Clark, the CEO of the arts charity based in Gospel Oak and Queen’s Crescent, paid tribute: “The shining light of my friend and hero Helen McCrory will live on forever in the work we do.  

Helen McCrory at the Alon Zakaim Fine Art gallery in 2015.

Helen McCrory at the Alon Zakaim Fine Art gallery in 2015. - Credit: David Jensen

“We will be strong and try with all our might to smile today, but we will smile as that is what Helen McCrory did, she smiled, she gave, she enjoyed life to the full. 

“Helen McCrory was a force of nature, passionate, and dedicated to the arts and culture.  

“Not only was she one of the world’s most brilliant actors, mesmerising on screen - off screen she was fearless, she was funny, she was selfless, she was a philanthropist and gave so much to so many.” 

The “McCrory Award”, set up in the actor’s memory, will be dedicated to supporting gifted children from disadvantaged families who do not have access to the resources, training and income to fulfil their potential.   

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The annual award will be funded by donations the charity receives in tribute to Ms McCrory, who was made an OBE in 2017. It will seek to make young’s people’s dreams a reality. 

“Helen always believed that every child should have equal opportunities in the arts, she was a huge believer in that the arts should be accessible to every child,” Debbi said.   

“Helen was the most inspiring woman I have had the honour to call my friend, my patron, my beautiful one.”

To donate to the McCrory Award visit

Helen McCrory (1968-2021)

Helen McCrory (1968-2021) - Credit: Debbi Clark