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THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA Star Georgie Henley Reveals Rare Disease ‘Nearly Claimed My Life’

Photo from Georgie Henley’s Instagram

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA Star Georgie Henley Reveals Rare Disease ‘Nearly Claimed My Life’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Georgie Henley, famous for her role as Lucy in the THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, recently opened up about her necrotising fasciitis diagnosis and why she’s no longer hiding her scars. 

Henley became a child star after playing Lucy Pevensie in the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series. A portion of Movieguide®’s review for THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE reads:

Despite some minor changes from the book, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE is tremendously exciting, thrilling and redemptive. Though some things have been deleted from the book and other things have been added, the movie retains most of its Christian focus. The resurrection of Aslan breaks the power of the White Witch over Narnia. Those who love Narnia can rejoice that the movie tells this story in a very entertaining and respectful way.

Henley discovered a love of theater while enrolled at Cambridge University and has appeared in and directed many plays over the years, including productions of SWEENEY TODD, GIRL, INTERRUPTED, and PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM. 

During her first few months at college, Henley contracted necrotising fasciitis, an infection that “nearly claimed my life and wrought havoc throughout my body,” she wrote in a recent Instagram post.

In order to save Henley’s left hand and arm, doctors performed invasive surgery and extensive reconstructive surgery that left her arm heavily scarred. 

“It has taken me a long time to heal both physically and mentally but I hoped that one day there would be the right time to talk about what happened,” the actress wrote. “Today is a start.”

She continued, “For the last nine years I have been open about my scars in my personal life, but have hidden them entirely in any professional context: wearing bandages or coverings, makeup on set and stage, long sleeves whenever I might be photographed, trousers so I could put my hand in a pocket.

“The industry I am part of often focuses on a very narrow idea of what is deemed aesthetic ‘perfection’, and I worried that my scars would prevent me from getting work,” Henley explained. “The truth is there is no such thing as ‘perfection’, but I have still lived with the shame of feeling different, exacerbated by the expectations that came with beginning my career at a young age.”

She concluded, “But my scars are not something to be ashamed of. They are a map of the pain my body has endured, and most importantly a reminder of my survival. They do not affect my capacity as an actor, and I’m proud to be a person who has visible scars in this industry.”

Henley finished by thanking Addenbrooke’s hospital, her family and friends, her agents and those who employed her and “never saw my scars as a problem, as well as all her supporters. 

“I’m sure I will talk more about my experiences in the future but today I am simply happy to feel, for the first time in a very long time, finally free,” Henley wrote.