Big Finish is enormously saddened to learn of the passing of Mary Tamm, aged 62, who played Romana alongside Fourth Doctor Tom Baker.
Mary made a huge splash when she appeared in the Key to Time season of Doctor Who as the first incarnation of Romana, a Time Lady who was more than a match for the Doctor. Outside of Doctor Who, she made memorable appearances in The Likely Lads, Brookside, Eastenders, Paradise Heights and Jonathan Creek alongside many other stage and screen roles.
Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery: 'It was often commented how beautiful Mary was, however I always saw her as elegant – she had a grace and dignity that made her the centre of attention, but a warmth that meant you were always drawn to speak to her. We both had a love of theatre and would talk about new productions that we had seen and what we were both doing, I as a fledgling theatre producer and she as an experienced theatre actress. She came and saw my shows. I was a proud man indeed walking in the door of the Novello with Mary to see the first West End show I'd produced. Unfortunately, I will never have that opportunity again. My thoughts are with her family.'
Executive producer Nick Briggs: 'I met Mary Tamm in 1990, when I interviewed her for the Myth Makers interview series. She was really delightful, friendly and frank with me. From then on, when our paths crossed, we would always have a good old chat and a gossip. She had an intoxicating, rather classy, laid back quality, and never failed to make me giggle. Working with her this past year on our Fourth Doctor releases has been such a pleasure. She has been enormous fun to work with, so keen, inventive and enthusiastic. And her performance was pitch perfect. I feel honoured to have known her and so desperately sorry that we have lost her.'
Producer David Richardson: 'I’m on holiday as I write this. It’s Thursday 26 July, and we are all in a state of shock and sadness. Mary Tamm – an icon from our childhoods and a friend through more recent years – has passed away after a long battle with cancer. My phone has been ringing all morning, people in shock and in tears, because it seems so senseless – she was only 62, so full of life, so eager to make everyone laugh... and she was only in the studio just four months ago, completing her work on The Fourth Doctor Adventures, in which she plays Romana again throughout the second series. Mary may have been seriously ill, but nothing was going to keep her away from that microphone. I think Nick and I knew that making this series was very important to her. I got to know Mary well over the past year. We’d exchanged silly emails, talked at great length about books, TV and cats (which she adored) and I looked forward to working with her again in the future. I’d got plans. But it was not to be. RIP Mary... And thank you for all the happy times.'
Big Finish offers its condolences to Mary's family and friends; our thoughts are with them at this very sad time.
It's ten years since Nick Briggs became co-executive producer of Big Finish Productions. His friends and colleagues celebrate this fact in a not entirely serious tribute.