Helen McCrory spent the last year of her life painting and playing guitar with her children.

The Peaky Blinders actress – who lost her cancer battle at just 52 – spoke about her family time in an interview.

She and husband Damian Lewis spent treasured moments with daughter Manon, 14, and son Gulliver, 13.

Helen said: “We’ve done quite a lot of painting with my daughter, we’ve done quite a lot of music. Damian plays guitar, Gully plays guitars.”

She revealed that lockdown pushed her to her limits and she would find herself weeping during self-isolation at the family’s house in Suffolk.

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Actress Helen McCrory, 52
'Helen died as she lived – fearlessly. God we love her'

Helen said: “That’s what’s so hard. We’re all doing our bit and not going out, but we’re watching the news, we’re all reading it, we’re all finding out what is happening all over the world – and it’s so overwhelming.

"You think you’re absolutely fine. You’re pottering along, coping with it – cleaning, cooking, cleaning – and you suddenly burst into tears.

“And it’s the fear and the vulnerability coming out, then you pick yourself up again and you go on as if nothing happened. And it’s surreal.”

Damian Lewis with their children
Damian Lewis with their children

They guested on the BBC Coronavirus Newscast last April to talk about their campaign to raise cash to send food to overworked NHS staff.

The couple played the Mr & Mrs quiz for show hosts Laura Kuenssberg and Adam Fleming.

Helen, who also starred as Narcissa Malfoy in three Harry Potter films, revealed she loved how there isn’t a slobbish bone in Homeland actor Damian’s body but admitted he wound her up by not sharing his chocolates with her.

With Damian on breakfast TV on March 12
With Damian on breakfast TV on March 12
Helen on Peaky Blinders
Helen on Peaky Blinders

She said: “He’s not a slob. He has many, many faults – many – but not slobby.

"Damian’s idea of slobby is he got up at 8 o’clock and is showered and down and having his third cup of coffee. There’s not a slobby bit of him.”

Damian, 50, announced the news on Friday but it is unclear when she was diagnosed.

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He wrote: “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.

“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.”