UK actress Helen McCrory, who starred in Peaky Blinders and played Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, has died of cancer at the age of 52.

Her husband, fellow actor Damian Lewis, confirmed the tragic news, saying that she died “peacefully at home” after a “heroic” battle with the disease.

The “heartbroken” actor said that McCrory was surrounded by the love of friends and family when she passed away, writing:

“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.”

Cillain Murphy of Peaky Blinders said he was “broken-hearted” at the loss of dear friend Helen McCrory, writing:

“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.”

McCrory was originally cast as Bellatrix Lestrange in the Potter films, but dropped out after she became pregnant, with the role going to Helena Bonham Carter.

She was eventually recast as the scheming Narcissa and appeared in three instalments of the popular film series.