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article imageMary Tamm, Doctor Who star, dies at 62

By Melissa Horrocks     Jul 26, 2012 in Entertainment
Mary Tamm has died, at the age of 62. She was an actress known best for her part in Doctor Who, and she also starred in Eastenders and Brookside.
BBC News reports that, Mary Tamm, a famous Doctor Who star that appeared next to Tom Baker as Romana, has died aged 62. Tamm was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire and battled against cancer for a long time. The actress died in hospital, in London.
Tamm's agent, Barry Langford, who confirmed the news also described her as having a zest for life.
Tom Baker said, "She was a darling companion and wonderfully witty and kind,". Tom Baker was the fourth Doctor and is sad to hear news of her death.
Colin Baker who was the sixth Doctor tweeted, "Shell-shocked to hear Mary Tamm is gone. A funny, caring, talented, lovely and down to earth lady."
Tamm appeared in films The Odessa File and The Likely Lads, as well as roles in Eastenders and Brookside. Langford described her as an amazing actress and was her agent for 22 years. Tamm played many stage parts with a fantastic range, she played characters that would literally take a person's breath away. She was so flexible and gifted, that she could play any part perfectly.
Mary Tamm lived in London and had been battling cancer for 18 months. There were six stories that Tamm appeared in as Romana with Tom Baker. In the late 1970s Tamm starred as Romana, a Time Lady from the Doctor's home planet, Gallifrey, next to Tom Baker's Doctor and robot dog, K-9, in a season of connected stories in 1978-9.
The Ribos Operation was her first story, where she joined the crew of the Tardis on an adventure to recover the six scattered segments of the Key to Time. The other stories included; The Pirate Planet and The Stones of Blood.
After Tamm left Doctor Who, Lalla Ward took over the part of Romana. Tamm received education at Rada, starting her career at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, alongside Derek Jacobi, Joan Sims and Ronnie Barker. Her theatrical work included the parts of Amanda in Private Lives and Beverley in Abigail's Party. Later, she progressed on to television and film. Her very first feature film was Tales That Witness Madness, with Kim Novak.
Tamm's most recent work was Wire in the Blood, Paradise Heights and Johnathan Creek on television.
Tamm leaves behind her husband, Marcus Ringrose, daughter Lauren and seven-year-old grandson, Max.
According to The Telegraph, social networking sites were full of praise for Tamm and also sadness for her loss. Tamm was born in Bradford to poor Estonian refugees and did not learn to speak English until she attended primary school.
Mary Tamm lived in Battersea, South London. After training at Rada, she mentored students and got involved in fund-raising for the Eve Appeal, the gynecology cancer research fund. Her final role was in Eastenders, where she played the character, Orlenda in 2009. Shortly afterwards, she published her autobiography.
According to The Mirror, Mary Tamm had been upset due to the recent deaths of contemporaries Elisabeth Sladen and Angharad Rees who had played in Doctor Who. Tamm's husband said, "Mary was truly beautiful in every way. She was a very spiritual lady who loved nature and adored all animals."
Tamm had typical northern humour and wit. She was well known in the acting profession and will be well missed. It was through sheer talent and hard work that she got a place in Rada. It has been a sad time for Doctor Who fans who have lost Elisabeth Sladen and Angharad Rees recently. Mary Tamm will be remembered as a lady who loved life and lived it to the full.
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