Damian Lewis gives heartbreaking speech about wife Helen McCrory 9 months after her death

Damian Lewis talks dancing, Bond, Tom Hiddleston and Obama

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Homeland actor Damian Lewis has spoken publicly about the death of his “perfect” wife Helen McCrory nine months after her death. The star, 50, was leading an evening of poetry dedicated to his wife-of-14-years who died last April following a battle with cancer.

One person whose thunder would absolutely not be stolen was Helen McCrory

Damian Lewis

Appearing with their children, daughter Manon, 15, and son Gulliver, 14, the Wolf Hall actor paid tribute to his wife.

Maintaining his composure, Damian said: “This evening is dedicated to her and it’s perfect, because Helen loved the National Theatre.

“One person whose thunder would absolutely not be stolen was Helen McCrory,” he added.

As his late wife’s voice filled the stage, the actor was seen shutting his eyes and clasping his hands together as he listened intently.

A video of the Harry Potter actress reading poetry at a previous event appeared and played to the 900-person audience.

The evening saw flame-haired Damian preside over an hour-long performance at the National Theatre.

At the event, a few of Helen’s friends performed poetry readings in her memory, including Lesley Sharp and Fay Riplet.

The late star’s close friend Allie Esiri said: “We dedicated the evening to Helen, and Damian said a few words, but we just wanted to get on and do the show.

“It’s what she would have told us to do – “OK, enough already, get on with the show!”

“‘She loved poetry and I think she would have been pleased to be kind of here with us. It felt right,” she added.

Sharing the news of Helen’s death on social media last year, the Homeland star said that his late wife had been “surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family” in her final days.

Damian described the Harry Potter actress as “royalty” before revealing that Helen had gained the nickname “Dame Helen” within the showbusiness industry, as she was bestowed with an OBE for her services to drama in the 2017 New Year Honours list.

While the world was mourning the recent loss of His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Damian wanted to acknowledge his own Duchess, his “little one”, who he said was an even better person than she was an actress.

He emotionally admitted that in Helen’s final few days, despite her astonishing television and film career, theatre work is what made her “heart sing”.

He wrote in the Sunday Times: “As I sit down to write this, I can hear Helen shouting from the bed, ‘Keep it short, Damian, it’s not about you’.”

He went on to state that while Helen was going through her final days, the late actress put others before herself and was constantly thanking her carers as they comforted her.

“She was funny as hell,” he recalled, before going on to say that nurses and staff at the Royal Marsden Hospital had looked forward to her visits, stating that Helen brightened their days by asking how they were getting on, as well as discussing their lives away from work.

Writing in The Sunday Times, Damian said: “Helen would say, ‘Well, their job’s much more difficult than mine,’ and she was dying.”

He painfully went on to add that while his wife had taught their beloved children to not be afraid of what life may throw at them, instead leaving them with her “fearlessness, wit, curiosity, talent and beauty,” she also told them: “Don’t be sad, because even though I’m about to snuff it, I’ve lived the life I wanted to.”

He said: “Already, I miss her,” before saying that the James Bond’s Skyfall star had “shone more brightly in the last few months”, but had shown bravery and generosity while attempting to “normalise” her death, with the “meteor” in their life, insisting that nobody close to her should be sad.

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