Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mary Tamm dies, aged 62

Mary Tamm, who played Romana in Doctor Who, sadly passed away this morning at the age of 62.

Tamm, born on 22 March 1950 in Yorkshire, was of Estonian decent and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Before her appearance on Doctor Who, she starred in a number of films throughout the1970s including The Odessa File in 1973 and The Likely Lads in 1976.

Mary Tamm was initially reluctant to play Romana in Doctor Who when the role was offered to her in 1978. However, producer Graham Williams assured her that Romana was a much stronger, independent woman than the traditional companion. Tamm also spoke to her Doctor Who predecessor, Louise Jameson, about what it was like to work on the series before accepting the role.

The actress played Romana in 1978/79 Key To Time series which consisted of six stories - The Ribos Operation, The Pirate Planet, The Stones of Blood, The Androids of Tara, The Power of Kroll and The Armageddon Factor. Tamm left the series after just one year because she believed that the character could not be developed any further.

Following her time playing Romana, Mary Tamm starred in two BBC dramas - The Treachery Games in 1980 and The Assassination Run in 1981. In 1984, she had a role in the BBC Two sitcom The Hello, Goodbye Man.

Between 1993 and 1996, she appeared in Brookside and starred in four episodes of Eastenders in 2009.

Her extensive acting career also includes roles in Doghouse (2009), Wire in the Blood (2008), Doctors (2000), Holby City (2006), Jonathan Creek (2001), The Bill (1991, 2001), Heatbeat (1997), Casualty (1986) and Bergerac (1984).

Her association with Doctor Who has also continued, with Tamm reprising the role of Romana in several Big Finish audio dramas. She discussed her time on Doctor Who for the special features on the 2007 DVD release of The Key to Time.

Mary Tamm passed away on 26th June 2012 following an 18 month battle with cancer.

Tom Baker said: "She was a darling companion and wonderfully witty and kind.I'm so sorry to hear of her death."

Tamm's agent of 22 years Barry Langford commented:  "She was a fantastic actress. She played stage parts of such range, parts that would take your breath away. She could play any role, and do so wonderfully."

He added that Mary had been saddened by the deaths of Elisabeth Sladen and Angharad Rees: "All of these people who she knew were going."

She leaves behind her husband Marcus Ringrose, daughter Lauren and grandson Max.

Ringrose said: "Mary was truly beautiful in every way. On set and offstage, her earthy northern humour and self-deprecating wit brightened every occasion. We will miss her every day."

Mary Tamm (22 March 1950 - 26 July 2012)


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