Doctor Who actress Mary Tamm dies

 

Tributes have been paid to “truly beautiful” Doctor Who actress Mary Tamm, who died today at the age of 62.

Tamm was best known for playing the first incarnation of the Doctor's companion Romana, alongside Tom Baker.

She had a long career on stage and screen, with roles in films including The Odessa File and The Likely Lads, and a recurring role in soap Brookside as Penny Crosbie.

She died at her home in Battersea, south west London after suffering from cancer for 18 months, agent Barry Langford said. She leaves her husband, Marcus Ringrose, daughter Lauren and seven-year-old grandson Max.

Mr Ringrose said: "Mary was truly beautiful in every way. She was a very spiritual lady who loved nature and adored all animals.

"On set and offstage, her earthy northern humour and self-deprecating wit brightened every occasion. She was a consummate actress, and immensely popular in the profession.

"Mary was born in Bradford, the daughter of impoverished refugees, and through sheer talent and hard graft got herself to Rada, starred opposite Jon Voight in The Odessa File, and found a form of immortality as the Time Lady Romana opposite Tom Baker in Doctor Who.

"We will miss her every day."

Tamm's parents were Estonian and she did not learn English until she went to primary school. Her first professional job was at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre where she worked alongside Derek Jacobi, Joan Sims and Ronnie Barker. From there she moved on to television work and film, her first feature film being Tales That Witness Madness with Kim Novak.

She recently starred in television series Wire In The Blood, Paradise Heights and Jonathan Creek, with stage work including Amanda in Private Lives and Beverley in Abigail's Party.

Her last role was in EastEnders, in which she played Orlenda in 2009. Her autobiography was published the same year.

Mr Langford, Tamm's agent of 22 years, described her as one of his "closest friends", and said: "She had a great zest for life. 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 Tamm had been saddened by the recent deaths of contemporaries Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and died of cancer last year, and Angharad Rees, who died last weekend.

He added: "All of these people who she knew were going."

Actress Helen Lederer, a friend of Tamm's, said: "Mary was such an energised, talented woman with a great twinkle in her eye and she was so very beautiful."

Fans of Tamm have been writing messages of condolence on Twitter.

Paul Cornell, who has written Doctor Who novels and screenplays, said: "She was always great fun on screen, and those who knew her say that was true off screen too."

Fellow Doctor Who writer Joe Lidster said of Tamm: "Sweet and funny and not at all what you'd expect someone so glamorous to be. Such sad news."

Nicola Bryant, who played Doctor Who's American companion Peri, wrote on Twitter: "Just heard the terrible news that Mary Tamm has died. Completely shocked. Very sad. Thoughts go to Marcus & Lauren. RIP Mary."

Tamm had mentored students at Rada and was involved in fundraising for the Eve Appeal, the gynaecology cancer research fund.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent