Doctor Who star Mary Tamm, who played companion Romana alongside Tom Baker, has died aged 62. Tamm starred as Doctor Who’s assistant Romana alongside Tom Baker in the late 1970s. Her first story, The Ribos Operation, saw her join the Tardis crew on a quest to find the six scattered segments of the Key to Time. Romana’s other adventures included a story called The Pirate Planet, written by Douglas Adams, and The Stones of Blood, which was the 100th story since the sci-fi show started in 1963.
The actress, who was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, fought a long battle with cancer and died in hospital in London.
Agent Barry Langford, who confirmed the news, said she had a “zest for life”.
“She was a darling companion and wonderfully witty and kind,” said Tom Baker, who played the fourth Doctor. “I’m so sorry to hear of her death.”
Colin Baker, the actor who played the sixth Doctor, wrote on Twitter: “Shell-shocked to hear Mary Tamm is gone. A funny, caring, talented, lovely and down to earth lady. My heart goes out to Marcus and Lauren.”
Nicola Bryant, who played Doctor Who’s American companion Peri, wrote on Twitter: “Just heard the terrible news that Mary Tamm has died. Completely shocked. Very sad. Thoughts go to Marcus & Lauren. RIP Mary.”
Paul Cornell, who has written Doctor Who novels and screenplays, said: “She was always great fun on screen, and those who knew her say that was true off screen too.”
Fellow Doctor Who writer Joe Lidster said of Tamm: “Sweet and funny and not at all what you’d expect someone so glamorous to be. Such sad news.”
As well as Doctor Who, she starred in films The Odessa File and The Likely Lads and had recurring roles in soaps Brookside and EastEnders.
Her family, including husband Marcus Ringrose, daughter Lauren and seven-year-old grandson Max, paid tribute to the actress.
Mr 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. Mary was born in Bradford, the daughter of impoverished refugees, and through sheer talent and hard graft, got herself to Rada, starred opposite Jon Voight in The Odessa File, and found a form of immortality as the Time Lady Romana opposite Tom Baker in Doctor Who. We will miss her every day.”
Everyone at Following The Nerd sends their thoughts and condolances out to the family and friends of the iconic Mary Tamm.