- READ MORE: Tributes paid to ‘Peaky Blinders’ star Helen McCrory: “She lit up our stages and screens”
The actor, who plays Tommy Shelby in the series, starred opposite McCrory as matriarch Polly Gray.
“I am broken-hearted to lose such a dear friend,” Murphy said in a statement to the PA news agency obtained by the Evening Standard.
He continued: “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.”
Murphy ended his statement by saying: “I will dearly miss my pal. My love and thoughts are with Damian and her family.”
McCrory’s husband Damian Lewis first shared the news of her death today (April 16) on Twitter.
“I’m heartbroken to announce that after an heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family,” he wrote.
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) April 16, 2021
“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.”
McCrory was also known for her role as Narcissa Malfoy in multiple Harry Potter films, and starred in ITV miniseries Quiz last year.
BAFTA said of McCrory: “We’re sad to hear of the death of actor Helen McCrory. As well as fearless Polly Gray in BAFTA-winning Peaky Blinders, she was in 2007 Best Film BAFTA winner The Queen, amongst many other films and TV shows.”