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Damian Lewis Honors Late Wife Helen McCrory: Her 'Thunder Absolutely Would Not Be Stolen'

·3-min read

Damian Lewis honored his late wife Helen McCrory Tuesday night while making his first stage appearance since her death.

At the National Theatre's A Poet for Every Day of the Year event held at London's Lyttelton Theatre, the Billions actor, 50, read a poem onstage after mentioning McCrory's "thunder." The actress died in April at age 52 after a battle with cancer.

"One person whose thunder absolutely would not be stolen was Helen McCrory. You could try, but it wouldn't work," Lewis said to the crowd, according to U.K.'s The Times. The event was dedicated to McCrory and will be available to stream on National Theatre's YouTube page March 3 for World Book Day.

McCrory was known for her roles as in the Harry Potter films and Peaky Blinders. She and Lewis married in 2007 after they met on the production of Five Gold Rings at London's Almeida Theatre in 2003. They share daughter Manon, 15, and son Gulliver, 14.

Back in April, Lewis penned an emotional tribute for The Sunday Times, in which he reflected on his "brilliant" wife's life.

"Many people have spoken about her career and many more will, so that's where I'll leave it, because it strikes me that two things are happening this weekend: an outpouring of grief and shock, and a celebration of Helen McCrory the actress from fans everywhere, and of Helen the person," Lewis said of the actress. "And that's who I want to talk about."

RELATED: Harry Potter's Tom Felton Honors Onscreen Mom Helen McCrory as More Stars Pay Tribute to Late Actress

Helen McCrory, Damian Lewis
Helen McCrory, Damian Lewis

Mike Marsland/WireImage Helen McCrory, Damian Lewis

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"Helen was an even more brilliant person than she was an actress," the actor continued at the time. "She was a people person, sure. 'I'm much more interested in who I'm with than where I am,' she would say, and innately wanted to share. But she also lived by the principle of kindness and generosity. That you put these things out into the world to make it better, to make people feel better."

The Homeland star said that McCrory always "spread happiness," writing, "Even when dying in her last few days, when talking to our wonderful carers, she repeatedly said, 'thank you so much' in her half delirious state."

Celebrities wear white roses to support Time's Up at Brit Awards
Celebrities wear white roses to support Time's Up at Brit Awards

John Phillips/Getty Images

"I've never known anyone able to enjoy life as much," Lewis said. "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."

Lewis also wrote in the tribute of McCrory: "She has been utterly heroic in her illness. Funny, of course — generous, brave, uncomplaining, constantly reminding us all of how lucky we've been, how blessed we are. Her generosity has extended to encouraging us three to live. Live fully, take opportunities, have adventures."

"Already I miss her," said Lewis. "She has shone more brightly in the last months than you would imagine even the brightest star could shine. In life, too, we had to rise to meet her. But her greatest and most exquisite act of bravery and generosity has been to 'normalize' her death. 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."

"I'm staggered by her," he said of McCrory. "She's been a meteor in our life."

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