Mary Tamm Dies, Aged 62

Goodbye, Romana 1.

27 JULY 2012
by Steve O'Brien

 

Mary Tamm in Doctor Who as Romana, mark 1

 

Mary Tamm, famous for playing the first incarnation of Romana, has died at the age of 62.

 

Coming only six weeks after the death of Caroline John, it seems like we've reached that point in Doctor Who's history when its cast and crew are beginning to say goodbye. Tamm had been suffering from cancer for some time and finally succumbed on Tuesday, 25 July.

 

Born in Yorkshire in 1950, Tamm joined Doctor Who in 1978's The Ribos Operation. She only lasted one year in the role though, before the character regenerated into Lalla Ward.

 

"She had a great zest for life," her longtime agent, Barry Langford, told the Press Association. "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."

 

After Doctor Who, Tamm featured in lead roles in shows including The Treachery Game, The Assassination Run and The Hello, Goodbye Man.

 

She starred in Brookside from 1993 to 1996 as Penny Crosbie, and in EastEnders as Orlenda for a week-long storyline in 2009.

 

Tamm returned as Romana for various Companion Chronicles plays for Big Finish, with her final run, alongside Tom Baker, set to release in January 2013. Big Finish's David Richardson told Doctor Who News, "Such a sad day. My phone hasn't stopped ringing – everyone is so deeply upset by the terrible news. Mary was just brilliant to work with – and such fun, with her infectious laugh and naughty sense of humour. I feel honoured to have had so many opportunities to work with her over the past year."

 

"I remember Mary Tamm's first appearance so vividly," said Steven Moffat. "The ice Queen on the TARDIS. The Time Lady who thought the Doctor was her companion. Perfectly brought to life by Mary, with such style and wit, you always thought she could have kicked the Doctor out of the time machine and got on with the adventure herself. A generation of little girls threw away the idea of being an assistant, and decided to fly the TARDIS for themselves."

 

She is survived by her husband, Marcus Ringrose, daughter Lauren and grandson Max.

 

See Mary Tamm with Tom Baker and K-9 in a Christmas Tape clip here:

 

 

 

Mary Tamm Dies, Aged 62
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