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

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

HR Assistant / Human Resources Assistant

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An HR Assistant / Human Resources Ass...

Talent Community Coordinator

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Talent Community Coordinator is nee...

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little