Damian Lewis made sure his beloved wife Helen McCrory’s legacy would live on as he presented an award in her honor on Wednesday.
Helen died in April 2021 at the age of 52 after a battle with breast cancer. Damian, 51, presented the McCrory Award in her memory to help young people pursuing careers in the arts.
Damian looked dapper in a black shirt and gray trousers as he posed surrounded by stunning snaps of Helen and her celebrity closest friends.
Memories: Damian Lewis made sure his beloved wife Helen McCrory’s legacy would live on as he presented an award in her honor on Wednesday
The proceeds from the photo exhibition in honor of Helen will benefit the Hubert von Herkomer Art Foundation.
It includes exclusive prints of Helen donated by eight photographers and the Foundation’s founder, Debbi Clark.
Clark has also taken pictures of artists close to Helen including Jude Law, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sadie Frost, Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Fay Ripley and Sienna Miller – proceeds go to the McCrory Awards.
The McCrory Award was presented to two young artists from the Sir Hubert von Herkomer Arts Foundation.
Star-studded: Damian was joined by Cold Feet star Fay Ripley and her husband Daniel Lapaine
Tough times: The Homeland star lost his actress wife Helen McCrory to breast cancer when she died at home in April last year aged 52
Cake: The star celebrated the award with Debbi Clark and Marina Vyrne
Award: Damian presented the award to Joshua Bamgbose that evening
The foundation is dedicated to supporting underprivileged children and young people who are artistically gifted but lack access to resources, education or support to achieve their dream.
The late star Helen believed every child should have equal opportunities and access to the arts.
This comes as Damian recalled his first time at Soccer Aid in 2006 with his late wife Helen on Good Morning Britain on Thursday.
He told GMB hosts Kate Garraway and Ben Shepherd that “she’s with us again this year” while he helps raise money for charity UNICEF.
The glitzy event aims to raise money for the world’s most disadvantaged children and has raised over £60million since it first launched in 2006, with the event raking in a record £13million last year.
Money raised through this year’s game could help UNICEF provide vaccines, fight malnutrition and provide safe spaces to protect children in times of crisis to help children return to the childhoods they are entitled to.
Photo: The star posed at the event in memory of his wife
Celebration: Damian cut the cake at the glamorous award ceremony
Award: Damian presented Giada Averna with the second award
Ceremony: Damian was playful at the award ceremony
Speaking on GMB, Ben said: “The first time I met you and your lovely wife Helen outside of work was at Soccer Aid in Manchester many years ago and you were there with family and children. She’s always been such a vocal supporter of you and everything you’ve done.
“Kate and I were honored to be present at her memorial service a few weeks ago. I can imagine that you have been very moved by the love and support that has been shown to her since her sad passing.
Damian replied: “Well she was a fabulous human being and people from all walks of life have come out to say the impact she has had on their lives.
“This day that we had a few weeks ago was a very special day, I’m so glad you could be there and it was celebrated by her tribe, her profession, the acting profession – actors, directors, producers, writers all showed up and she will be missed very, very much.
“When she first came to Soccer Aid I had gone to my hotel room at The Lowry in Manchester and it was covered all over with Union Jack bunting and England flags which she had bought and decorated the room with. So she is with us. She is with us again this year.”
Supportive: Damian first attended Soccer Aid in 2006 (pictured) and said his wife decorated his hotel room with bunting as a sweet gesture
Kate added, “As you say, she touched the lives of so many people that we all feel the loss that you obviously live with every day, at least a small fraction of it.”
Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Keeley Hawes were among those who filled St Paul’s Church in London’s Covent Garden last month, a year after Helen sadly passed away.
Damian was pictured with her children, daughter Manon, 15, giving a reading and son Gulliver, 14, playing the guitar.
The hour-long service began with Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, followed by a prayer and the song “Führe mich, o du Großer Redeemer”.
The readings included one about her “leading men,” while another was a reading of Maya Angelou’s poem, “Touched by an Angel.”
Helen was known for her roles as the villainous Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films and as the matriarch Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders, the last series of which paid tribute to her.
In addition to their Harry Potter co-stars Miss Bonham Carter and Fiennes, many Peaky Blinders actors were in attendance, including brothers Joe and Finn Cole, who plays their nephew and son John and Michael Shelby on screen. Other guests included Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch and Natascha McElhone.
Speaking of the memorial, Damian said, “She was celebrated by her tribe, her profession, the acting profession – actors, directors, producers, writers all showed up and she will be missed very, very much.”
Lewis, who married Miss McCrory in 2007, announced her death in a heartbreaking statement on social media in April last year.
Miss McCrory was an OBE in the 2017 New Year Honors for services to drama and was also an award-winning stage actress, working with the National Theatre, the Almeida and the Donmar Warehouse and playing Lady Macbeth on Shakespeare’s Globe.
Rufus Norris, artistic director of the National Theatre, said she was “undoubtedly one of the greatest actresses of her generation”.
Miss McCrory made her last television appearance in March last year when she joined Lewis on Good Morning Britain to promote her work with charity The Prince’s Trust.
Damian said of his late wife: “Well she was a fabulous human being and people from all walks of life have come forward to say the impact she had on their lives” (pictured in October 2012).