Peaky Blinders lost a big member of its family in April 2021 when actor Helen McCrory died of cancer.
More than a year later, the sixth and final season of the series premiered on Netflix, leaving many fans wondering what would happen to McCrory's character, beloved Shelby matriarch Polly Gray.
Polly has been guiding Thomas (Cillian Murphy) out of perilous circumstances for years, counseling him on anything from gypsy spells to everyday living.
However, without McCrory, the show moved quickly to decide Polly's fate.
Here is everything you want to know about Peaky Blinders' Polly Gray.
How Did Polly Die in Peaky Blinders?
The Irish Republican Army, in a nutshell. But it's a little tricky, so let's back up. Peaky Blinders included snarky and evil fascist bad man Oswald Mosley, as well as Scottish thugs the Billy Boys, led by Jimmy McCavern, last season.
In Season 5, Episode 2, Tommy receives a phone call from Captain Swing, A.K.A. Laura McKee, a high-ranking I.R.A. member, warning him that Michael is plotting to take over behind his back with the Billy Boys.
Season 5 finishes with Tommy getting his old British Army chum Barney Thompson to assassinate Mosley at a political rally, while Polly's fiancé, Gypsy mobster Aberama Gold, is to assassinate McCavern backstage.
The plot, however, is disrupted at the last second by masked assassins who appear out of nowhere and kill Gold and Thompson.
At the opening of Season 6 of Peaky Blinders, Tommy receives another phone call from McKee, who says that the I.R.A. has put a stop to his planned assassination, saying cryptically, “We need to keep Mr. Mosley alive.”
That's all there is to it.” A truck then rolls up to his front door and dumps three bodies covered in burial cloths: Gold's, Thompson's, and an unidentified third.
We witness visions of Polly from the past as Tommy opens the mystery body.
Her death, which occurred off-screen, was retribution for his schemes and was intended to bring him to heel.
Polly is given a Gypsy funeral, with her body inside a burning caravan, and Michael pledges to avenge her, blaming Tommy for her murder.
In April 2021, Helen Mccrory Died of Breast Cancer.
Helen McCrory died of breast cancer on April 16, 2021. Damian Lewis, her husband, announced her death on Twitter.
“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,” he said in a statement.
“She died just as she lived.” Fearlessly. We adore her and recognize how fortunate we are to have had her in our lives. “She blazed so brightly,” said the 51-year-old former Billions star. “Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”
According to The Guardian, only a few people were aware of Helen's illness.
In a radio memorial, her friend, theater director Carrie Cracknell, admitted that the late actress “swore friends to secrecy” while undergoing treatment.
How Will the Character Move Forward?
There has been no formal declaration from the creators about how the character would be continued, although the Instagram handle includes a memorial to her.
“Helen's performance as Polly Gray was inspirational, joyous, transgressive, hilarious, and incredibly moving,” the official handle said in another appreciation.
She was extremely captivating and truly caring as a person. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have worked with her over the previous decade. Our hearts go out to Damian and his family.”
“Who will play Aunt Polly Gray now?” We're still the Peaky Blinders because she was so brilliant at it.
“Rest in peace, Helen McCrory,” one fan said. “Peaky Blinders will never be the same,” remarked another. Polly Gray was a well-known character.”
“I've always wanted to be a boss like Polly Gray,” said a third. Tough as nails, but the Shelby family has Peaky Blinders' heart.
Her character was wonderfully written, but Helen McCrory brought Polly to life by brilliantly balancing toughness and compassion. Helen McCrory, rest in peace.”
“Rest well, Polly Gray,” one fan wistfully wrote. You were incredible. Thank you for sharing your abilities. I bid you farewell in the Peaky Blinders tradition.”
Helen McCrory's Life Journey
Helen McCrory was born in 1968 in London to Ann (née Morgans) and Iain McCrory.
She was the eldest of three children and attended Queenswood School in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, before spending a year in Italy.
When she returned to Britain, she enrolled in drama classes at the Drama Centre in London.
She began her theatrical career in 1990, and her plays such as ‘The Deep Blue Sea' and ‘Medea' garnered her many fans.
In ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' and ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 and 2', she played Narcissa Malfoy, the wife of Lucius Malfoy and Draco's mother.
She also played former Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife Cherie in the films “The Queen” and “The Special Relationship,” and she voiced Stelmaria, Lord Asriel's snow leopard daemon in “His Dark Materials.”