The actor Mary Tamm, who has died of cancer aged 62, enjoyed two stints on popular television, first as the glamorous Time Lady Romana in Doctor Who (1978-79), and then in the more down-to-earth environs of Brookside Close in Channel 4's soap opera, where she was Penny Crosbie, the upper-class resident who enjoyed a dalliance with the neighbourhood "bad boy" Barry Grant (1993-95).
Tamm was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Her Russian mother was a former opera singer and her father an Estonian landowner who worked in a woollen mill upon arriving in Britain in 1945. Tamm started acting at primary school and then at Bradford girls' grammar school, before being accepted by Rada in London in 1969, where her classmates included her immediate predecessor as a Doctor Who companion, Louise Jameson.
Upon graduation, Tamm spent 1971 at the Birmingham repertory theatre,