Who are Helen McCrory's parents?

PEAKY Blinders and Harry Potter star Helen McCrory dubbed herself "Mowgli" after being chased by an angry rhino while a child in Africa.

The actress, who has died of cancer, aged 52, went to boarding school in Hertfordshire, and turned down a place at Oxford.

Who are Helen McCrory's parents?

Helen McCrory was born in Paddington, west London, to Ann and Iain McCrory, says an obituary in The Times.

The paper describes Iain as "a Glaswegian diplomat, and his wife a Welsh physiotherapist".

The actress told The Times in 2014: "Because of dad’s job in the diplomatic service, home was wherever he happened to be posted — Norway, Tanzania, London, Paris.

"I’m sure some kids would have found that unsettling, but I thought it was wonderfully exciting.

"And it taught me a valuable lesson… different cultures do things in different ways, and there is no such thing as normal."

Helen was a passionate rugby fan – supporting the Welsh team.

She said: "When the Millennium Stadium stands and sings 'Bread of Heaven' I weep.

"Then when I watch them play, the air turns blue and I lose about a stone."

Helen's paternal grandad, a widower, raised her dad by himself, while her mum's mother was a pub cleaner.

The star's husband, actor Damian Lewis, announced she had died "peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family" on April 16, 2021.

When did they get married?

It's believed that Iain and Ann married in 1974.

How many children do they have?

Helen was the eldest of three children. She had a brother, Jon, and a sister, Catherine, says The Times.

Where did Helen McCrory grow up?

Helen's childhood was anything but dull, as she lived in the UK, Africa, Norway and France.

She said: "I had an unneurotic upbringing.

"I think that gives you a bedrock emotionally from which you take risks, you know, playing Medea, or being (Hester Collyer) in 'The Deep Blue Sea', and every night contemplating suicide. You can take yourself to these places safely."

With her dad working as a diplomat, his overseas postings took the family to Cameroon and Tanzania.

One day, Helen was left scarred when she clambered up a tree to escape an angry rhino in Africa.

The Times says she split her chin on the tree – and later dubbed herself as being like "a Mowgli" because of her youthful, daredevil escapades in the wild.

Back in the UK, though, she traded raging rhinos for the tamer surroundings of a boarding school near Hatfield, Herts.

And it was at Queenswood School that her acting career was sparked.

Her flair for the stage was fostered by drama teacher Thane Bettany – dad of actor Paul, the Hollywood star known his role in Avengers: Infinity War as Marvel superhero character Vision.

Queenswood School tweeted: "We are devastated by the terribly sad news of [Old Queenswoodian] Helen McCrory's passing.

"An astonishing talent on stage and screen, a generous patron of the arts at [Queenswood] and beyond, and a selfless and inspirational fundraiser for NHS staff.

"Our thoughts are with her family at this tragic time."

Helen was offered a place at Oxford, but rejected it to instead study at the Drama Centre in London.

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