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EXC: Damian Lewis is seen for first time since his wife Helen’s death

Damian Lewis was seen for the first time since the death of his wife Helen McCrory from cancer aged 52 on April 16. 

The actor, 50, emerged in London for a dog walk with a friend on Sunday, weeks after his shock announcement that the actress and philanthropist had passed at home ‘peacefully’ surrounded by family. 

Damian walked along before stopping to chat with a friend, in the wake of his wife’s cancer battle, in which he said she had shown ‘no fear, no bitterness, no self-pity’ and had only told to close friends and family members about the diagnosis. 

Helen, who was awarded the OBE for services to drama in the 2017 New Years Honours, was best known for playing the matriarch Polly in Peaky Blinders and Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films. 

His love: Damian Lewis was seen for the first time since the death of his wife Helen McCrory from cancer aged 52 on April 16

Damian cut a low-key figure as he stepped out and walked the streets.

Last month, Damian revealed Helen urged him to find love again two weeks before her death. In The Sunday Times, Damian said Helen told him, their daughter Manon, 14, and son Gulliver, 13, that she wanted ‘Daddy to have lots of girlfriends’.  

He wrote: ‘She has been utterly heroic in her illness. Funny, of course — generous, brave, uncomplaining, constantly reminding us all of how lucky we’ve been, how blessed we are.

‘Her generosity has extended to encouraging us three to live. Live fully, take opportunities, have adventures. 

Sorrow: The actor, 50, emerged in London for a dog walk with a friend on Sunday, weeks after his shock announcement that the actress and philanthropist had passed at home 'peacefully' surrounded by family (the couple pictured in February last year)

Sorrow: The actor, 50, emerged in London for a dog walk with a friend on Sunday, weeks after his shock announcement that the actress and philanthropist had passed at home ‘peacefully’ surrounded by family (the couple pictured in February last year) 

Saddened: Damian, walking with a friend, said his wife had shown 'no fear, no bitterness, no self-pity' and had only told to close friends and family members about the diagnosis

Saddened: Damian, walking with a friend, said his wife had shown ‘no fear, no bitterness, no self-pity’ and had only told to close friends and family members about the diagnosis

‘Only a couple of weeks ago she said to us from her bed, ‘I want Daddy to have girlfriends, lots of them, you must all love again, love isn’t possessive, but you know, Damian, try at least to get though the funeral without snogging someone.’ 

Damian also wrote of his heartbreak that Helen had left their children ‘too early’ but they have been prepared for life as she taught them to be ‘courageous’. 

The actor also wrote that Helen had told her children not to be sad by her passing because she had lived the wife she wanted to.  

He stood by the actress’ side during her illness, with Helen brushing off her hoarse voice in her final TV appearance in March to selflessly talk about their charity work.

Chatting away: Damian was putting a brave face on as he stepped out for some fresh air

Chatting away: Damian was putting a brave face on as he stepped out for some fresh air 

Secret: Helen, who was awarded the OBE for services to drama in the 2017 New Years Honours, was best known for playing the matriarch Polly in Peaky Blinders and Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films

Secret: Helen, who was awarded the OBE for services to drama in the 2017 New Years Honours, was best known for playing the matriarch Polly in Peaky Blinders and Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films

Love: The couple's devotion to one another shone brightly for all to see, with Damian saying the actress died peacefully at home surrounded by 'peace and love' and their children

Love: The couple’s devotion to one another shone brightly for all to see, with Damian saying the actress died peacefully at home surrounded by ‘peace and love’ and their children

The couple’s devotion to one another shone brightly for all to see, with Damian saying the actress died peacefully at home surrounded by ‘peace and love’ and their children.

It comes after Helen‘s friend Carrie Cracknell revealed those close to the Peaky Blinders star ‘were sworn to secrecy’ when it came to her cancer battle.

Discussing her friend’s tragic passing, Carrie, 41 – who is a theatre director – told BBC Radio Four’s Today: ‘Helen wanted to be very private about her illness. Very few people knew. We were sworn to secrecy.’

Stepping out: He was chatting to his companion while walking along

Stepping out: He was chatting to his companion while walking along 

Heartbroken: The Peaky Blinders star passed away after a 'heroic' battle with cancer, Damian announced on Friday night

Heartbroken: The Peaky Blinders star passed away after a ‘heroic’ battle with cancer, Damian announced on Friday night 

Touching upon Helen’s resilience, Carrie continued: ‘She faced up to cancer with a level of bravery and humour that was extraordinary.’

Carrie also said the only reason she had been made aware of the star’s diagnoses was because they were planning a Broadway show.

She said: ‘Very few people knew, and I only did because we were planning to transfer a show to Broadway and had to cancel that because she was having treatment. 

‘We were sworn to secrecy.’ 

Carrie went on: ‘Helen wanted to be very private about her illness and I understand why. When you live in the public spotlight you have to find space to protect the things that are just for you.’

Out and about: The acting world were left heartbroken by the news

Out and about: The acting world were left heartbroken by the news

Tragic: Discussing her friend's passing on Saturday, Carrie - who is a theatre director - told BBC Radio Four's Today: 'Helen wanted to be very private about her illness'

Tragic: Discussing her friend’s passing on Saturday, Carrie – who is a theatre director – told BBC Radio Four’s Today: ‘Helen wanted to be very private about her illness’

She added: ‘Her need to be fully alive and be committed and to take things incredibly seriously, such as her family and charity work, defined her last few years for her as much as ever.’   

In his first announcement of the news, Homeland star Damian tweeted: ‘I’m heartbroken to announce that after a 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.

‘She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. 

Stepping out: Damian penned an emotional tribute to his wife after her death

Stepping out: Damian penned an emotional tribute to his wife after her death 

‘She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.’ 

Her movie roles included playing MP Clair Dowar in Skyfall and Cherie Blair in The Queen and The Special Relationship.

On television, she appeared in Doctor Who, Inside No 9 and His Dark Materials, and last year appeared in the Hugh Laurie drama Roadkill on the BBC and ITV’s Quiz.

She also had an accomplished stage career, winning plaudits for National Theatre roles in productions of Medea and Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea.

Helen was also was nominated for an Olivier for her role as Rosalind in As You Like It in at London’s Wyndham’s theatre in 2006.

Pained: Her husband led tributes to the star tonight along with JK Rowling, Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton, Cillian Murphy and Kate Beckinsale

Pained: Her husband led tributes to the star tonight along with JK Rowling, Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton, Cillian Murphy and Kate Beckinsale

Her husband led tributes to the star tonight along with JK Rowling, Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton, Cillian Murphy and Kate Beckinsale. 

The couple were last seen during an appearance on Good Morning Britain in March, where they appeared to speak about their charity work for the Prince’s Trust and the Prince’s Trust Awards.

Helen and Damian led fundraising efforts to provide hot meals for NHS staff during the pandemic. 

Their work led to almost £1million in donations to the Feed NHS scheme, and partnerships with chains including Leon and Wasabi.

Shock: Helen and Damian led fundraising efforts to provide hot meals for NHS staff during the pandemic

Shock: Helen and Damian led fundraising efforts to provide hot meals for NHS staff during the pandemic

Tragedy: The couple pictured in 2012 were very much in love

Tragedy: The couple pictured in 2012 were very much in love


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