Mary Tamm - Doctor Who Jul 26, 2012 15:36:24 GMT 1
Post by Laurence on Jul 26, 2012 15:36:24 GMT 1
Mary Tamm, the actress who played the original Romana in Doctor Who, has died a long illness. She was 62.Tributes were paid to the "truly beautiful" actress for her "sheer talent" and "zest for life". Social networking sites were also full of praise after the Doctor Who official site posted its "great sadness" at the news on Thursday.
Tamm was born in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, and was of Estonian descent. She was a graduate and an associate member of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began acting on the stage with the Birmingham Repertory Company in 1971. Before her association with Doctor Who, Tamm acted in several films, most notably The Odessa File (1973) and The Likely Lads (1976). In 1981 she took the part of Rhoda Dawes in Agatha Christie's Cards on the Table at London's Vaudeville Theatre. Tamm was not initially interested in playing a companion to the Doctor, believing that the role was merely that of the "damsel in distress". She changed her mind when assured by the producers that Romana would be a member of the Doctor's own race and therefore as capable as he. Tamm left the programme after only one season because she felt that the character had reverted to the traditional assistant role and could not be developed further. In a 2007 interview, Tamm stated that she was willing to film a regeneration sequence to allow a smooth transition between her tenure and that of a new actress, but she was not invited to do so. One source states that pregnancy was the reason that she was not asked to return, which Tamm claimed was a false rumour invented by producer John Nathan-Turner. After leaving the series, Tamm took leading roles in two BBC1 dramas, The Treachery Game (1980) and its sequel The Assassination Run (1981). The Hello, Goodbye Man was produced in 1984, for BBC2.
Subsequently, Tamm played the characters of Penny Crosbie in the soap opera Brookside from 1993 to 1996, Yvonne Edwards in the BBC drama Paradise Heights (2002), as well as guest roles in many other television programmes. Tamm returned to the role of Patience in the second series of the Gallifrey audio plays produced by Big Finish Productions. Her first such appearance was in Gallifrey: Lies (2005). She also appeared (as herself) in a special feature in the 2007 DVD boxed set release of The Key to Time, discussing her experiences on the programme. In August 2009, Tamm made a brief one-week appearance as Orlenda in EastEnders.
Tamm married Marcus Ringrose in 1978. They had one daughter and a grandson. Her autobiography titled First Generation was published in September 2009 by Fantom Films. She had been working on a second part of her autobiography, Second Generation, before her death and it is unknown if it was finished or if it will be published. Tom Baker led the tributes to Tamm. He said in a statement: "She was a darling companion and wonderfully witty and kind. I'm so sorry to hear of her death."
Mary Tamm was involved in fundraising for the Eve Appeal, the gynaecology cancer research fund. She died on 26 July 2012 after an 18 month battle with cancer.