Lewis Leaves 'Billions' after Wife's Cancer Loss
- The new season of hit show Billions premiered last night and was missing actor Damian Lewis, who lost wife Helen McCroy to breast cancer last year. He took a step back from his career and left Billions to spend more time with his two teenage children.
- McCroy battled her cancer privately and did not share her diagnosis with the public. Breast cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
- Screen for breast cancer by getting annual mammograms; also, perform self-exams at home regularly to check for lumps.
The premiere of season 6 didn’t feature nary a call from Axelrod, nor will he be in season 6. “I don’t want to create any false expectation, Damian is not in Season 6,” Billions producer and co-creator Brian Koppelman tells Yahoo! Entertainment of the star who’s now grieving the cancer death of his wife. “But the door is left wide for Bobby Axelrod to appear at some point.”Read More
Lewis left Billions in the wake of his grief so he could care for his and McCroy’s family. The two shared a teenage son, Gulliver Lewis, and teenage daughter, Manon McCrory-Lewis. Now, Lewis is filling the role of a single parent while also coping with the loss of his partner. The English actor, who also starred in Homeland, told The New York Times that he wouldn’t be acting for the foreseeable future.
Koppelman said, “We understood the factors in (Lewis’) life and the need to be with his family,” says Koppelman. “So this change was years in the making, giving us time to introduce another central character.”
Immediately after McCroy’s death, the producers of Billions allowed Lewis to film his parts remotely in London. “We wouldn’t ask him to come to America in that situation,” Koppelman said. The Emmy-winning actor exited his role on the show at the end of season 5.
Breast Cancer Screening & Treatment
McCrory passed away at the age of 52 in April 2021 after a private battle with breast cancer. Screening for breast cancer is done with mammograms, and mammograms save lives. Early detection of breast cancer is crucial as it can mean broader treatment options as well. Women ages 45 to 54 with an average risk of breast cancer should get mammograms annually.
For women with an elevated risk of breast cancer – this means they either have a history of breast cancer in the family, or they have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation – they should begin screening even earlier, before age 45.
While getting a mammogram, ask about dense breasts, which may obscure cancer. The technician will be able to do determine whether or not you have dense breasts. It’s also a good idea to perform self-exams at home.
Common treatments for breast cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Immunotherapy may also be an option.
When a Spouse Has Cancer
When a spouse gets cancer, it can be the litmus test for the strength of the relationship – revealing cracks or strengthening existing bonds. This is how actress and melanoma survivor Jill Kargman feels about cancer.
In a previous interview, she says, “I think cancer is a great way to find out if you’re with the love of your life or a shithead. I think it presses the fast forward button on getting to the bottom of that answer, because a lot of people in middle age are kind of at a crossroads, waiting for their kids to fly the coop.”
“And I think if you’re with someone who is not supportive and kind of emotionally checked out or doesn’t tell you you’re still beautiful with that, this might not be your person,” says Kargman.