Published on July 26th, 2012 | by Christian Cawley
Mary Tamm Dies at 62
Kasterborous is sad to relay the passing of former Doctor Who companion Mary Tamm, who has died from a cancer related illness aged 62.
The stunning actress played the first incarnation of the Time Lady Romanadvoratrelundar (“Fred” for short) during the 1978 Key to Time season, appearing in the serials The Ribos Operation, The Pirate Planet, The Stones of Blood, The Androids of Tara, The Power of Kroll and The Armageddon Factor, before moving on and being replaced by Lalla Ward the following season.
Beyond Doctor Who, Tamm was a recognisable face on TV, appearing in a regular role in soap opera Brookside in the 1990s as well as having key roles in movies The Odessa File (1973) and The Likely Lads (1976).
The news was confirmed by Barry Langford, Mary’s agent for 22 years.
“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.”
Born 22nd March 1950 in Bradford to a family of Estonian immigrants, Tamm trained at RADA and began acting on the stage with the Birmingham Repertory Company in 1971 alongside Derek Jacobi, Joan Sims and Ronnie Barker. She is survived by husband Marcus Ringrose, daughter Lauren and seven-year-old grandson Max.
Mr Ringrose made a touching tribute to his wife.
“Mary was truly beautiful in every way. On set and offstage, her earthy northern humour and self-deprecating wit brightened every occasion.”
“We will miss her every day.”
In 2009 Mary Tamm published her autobiography, First Generation, which described her upbringing in considerable poverty in 1950s Bradford.
Further tributes have been made, notably from Tamm’s former leading man Tom Baker, who said
“She was a darling companion and wonderfully witty and kind. I’m so sorry to hear of her death.”
Meanwhile Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant who both knew Tamm through the convention circuit and their join association with Big Finish, have also voiced their sadness through Twitter.
Shellshocked to hear Mary Tamm is gone. A funny, caring, talented, lovely and down to earth lady. My heart goes out to Marcus and Lauren
— Colin Baker (@SawbonesHex) July 26, 2012
Just heard the terrible news that Mary Tamm has died. Completely shocked. Very sad. Thoughts go to Marcus & Lauren. RIP Mary.
— Nicola Bryant (@thenicolabryant) July 26, 2012
Since the beginning of 2011 Doctor Who fans have lost four companions, famous faces that have been constants since the show’s classic era and throughout its wilderness years. Perhaps former DWM editor Gary Gillatt summed it up best:
Mary Tamm now. Another tragedy. What an awful year it's been to be a Doctor Who fan. This terrible silence, slowly rolling over it all.
— Gary Gillatt (@Gary_Gillatt) July 26, 2012