Helen McCrory swore friends to secrecy about cancer diagnosis

Actor did not want her professional or charitable work overshadowed by illness in final weeks, says friend

Helen McCrory, the Peaky Blinders actor who died from cancer on Friday, “swore friends to secrecy” as she underwent treatment, her friend Carrie Cracknell has revealed.

Cracknell, who directed McCrory in a 2014 production of Medea, said the performer did not want her illness overshadowing her family and professional life. McCrory’s husband, Damian Lewis, announced the news that his wife died peacefully at home aged 52.

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