Damian Lewis contacted his closest friends to tell them of his courageous wife’s secret cancer battle days before he announced the news publicly.
His Homeland co-star David Harewood told how he was contacted a “couple of days” before Damian revealed Helen McCrory had tragically passed away aged 52 on April 16.
And David, 55, described Helen as “an incredible, wonderful woman.”
He added: “Damian got in touch a couple of days before the news broke, he let us all know. It was all very, very upsetting.
“Nobody knew. None of us knew what she was battling.
“It was shocking and unbelievably sad. Damian did such a tremendous job in publicly handling all that.
“My heart goes out to him and to their two young children.”
On the day she died Damian released a statement saying: “Already I miss her. She has shone more brightly in the last months than you would imagine even the brightest star could shine.
“In life, too, we had to rise to meet her. But her greatest and most exquisite act of bravery and generosity has been to ‘normalise’ her death.
“She’s shown no fear, no bitterness, no self-pity, only armed us with the courage to go on and insisted that no one be sad, because she is happy. I’m staggered by her. She’s been a meteor in our life.’
David became friends with Damian after starring opposite each other in Homeland.
Since September David has been filming TV series Super Girl in Canada and told how he desperately misses his family.
And he says the pandemic has made him reevaluate his priorities.
He said: “This time last year the pandemic kicked off and it was probably the first time in 10 years that I had stopped working. Just stopped. I must admit I found it tremendously reaffirming to stop everything and be at home with my family. Reappraise where I am in my life, my priorities; my family, being a father, being a husband.
“For me it was a life affirming moment.”
He is supporting the VaccinAid campaign – a partnership between Crowdfunder and Unicef – to provide 2billion Covid vaccines to the most vulnerable people in the world, the biggest vaccine drive in history.
The campaign https://www.vaccinaid.org/ has already raised more than £900,000 and is backed by the NHS and celebs including David, Ewan McGregor, Gemma Chan plus the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
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Rob Love, CEO at Crowdfunder said: “Crowdfunder launched VaccinAid with UNICEF UK to harness the power of the crowd and give everyone a place to come together to Give the World a Shot. No one is safe until we all are safe, and everyone – individuals, government, and businesses alike – have a role to play in addressing vaccine inequity to help the world to recover as quickly as possible from this pandemic.
“We’re calling for everyone to join us at vaccinaid.org to donate, or to come up with their own fundraiser to help tackle the devastating effects of Covid-19.”
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