Doctor Who star Mary Tamm dies aged 62

Actor played Doctor's companion Romana opposite Tom Baker and also starred in The Odessa File and The Likely Lads

Mary Tamm, the actor best known for her role as the first incarnation of Doctor Who's companion Romana in the late 1970s, has died aged 62.

Tom Baker, who played the Time Lord to Tamm's Time Lady – she too was from Gallifrey – led tributes to an actor who had a successful stage, TV and film career for more than 40 years.

He said: "She was a darling companion and wonderfully witty and kind. I'm so sorry to hear of her death."

His successor, Colin Baker, tweeted: "Shellshocked to hear Mary Tamm is gone. A funny, caring, talented, lovely and down to earth lady."

Tamm's agent, Barry Langford, said the Bradford-born actor died at her home in Battersea after suffering from cancer for 18 months.

Her husband, Marcus 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."

Following her one-season stint on Doctor Who Tamm appeared in Brookside in the mid-1990s, when she played snooty Penny Crosbie.

One of her earliest film roles was as Jon Voight's character's girlfriend in The Odessa File in 1973. Three years later Tamm starred as Terry's glamorous Finnish girlfriend in The Likely Lads film with lines such as: "I learn much this weekend Terry. It has been, how you say in English, an eyesore."

More recent roles have included parts in the TV series Wire in the Blood and Jonathan Creek, and in 2009 she had a brief role as Orlenda in EastEnders.

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."

Tamm leaves her husband, a daughter, Lauren, and grandson, Max.


Mark Brown, arts correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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