EastEnders and Desmond’s star Mona Hammond dies aged 91 | Ents & Arts News

Actress Mona Hammond, who was was most effective regarded for her roles in EastEnders and Desmond’s, has died aged 91.

The Jamaican-British actress handed absent peacefully in the early hrs of Monday morning, her agent verified.

With a career spanning 7 a long time, and recognised for both of those her work on phase and monitor, she was awarded an OBE for her expert services to drama in 2005.

It was her purpose of Blossom Jackson that built her an immediately recognisable deal with to numerous. Pic: Information Team/Shutterstock

For lots of, Hammond’s defining role was Blossom Jackson in EastEnders – a part that brought her into hundreds of thousands of living rooms various occasions a week.

She played the matriarch of the Jackson family members from 1994 to 1997, briefly returning once again in Oct 2010 to show up at her on-screen wonderful-grandson Billie Jackson’s funeral.

In a assertion, EastEnders stated: “We are deeply saddened to hear that Mona Hammond has passed away.

“Mona produced a no-nonsense grandmother in Blossom Jackson, who was adored by the audience and absolutely everyone who labored with her. Our like and ideas are with Mona’s family members and mates.”

It was essentially Hammond’s second element in the BBC cleaning soap, obtaining previously played the much smaller function of Michelle Fowler’s midwife in 1986.

Hammond also received a position in a lot of people’s hearts for her function of Auntie Susu in ground-breaking sitcom Desmond’s, as very well as spin-off exhibit Porkpie.

With a predominantly black cast and crew, the barber shop comedy grew to become one of Channel 4’s longest working sitcoms in phrases of episodes.

Her many other Television set roles provided Coronation Road, Doctor Who, Casualty, The Sweeney, Chef! starring Lenny Henry, children’s Television sequence Pig-Heart Boy, based on a novel by Malorie Blackman and White Enamel, the adaptation of Zadie Smith’s debut novel.

Just one of her closing performances was in Channel 4 drama Run, starring Lennie James and Olivia Colman.

Pic: Monty Fresco/ANL/Shutterstock
Hammond came to the Uk from Jamaica in 1959, and labored tough to make it as an actress. Pic: Monty Fresco/ANL/Shutterstock

Hammond was also an occasional actress in the BBC radio soap opera The Archers.

Her movie credits involve musical comedy Kinky Boots in 2006 and the 2008 motion movie 10,000 BC, directed by Roland Emmerich.

Fans, close friends and fellow performers were being rapid to pay back tribute to the star, with the chair the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Arts (RADA) Marcus Ryder confirming the news on social media, writing: “It is with unhappiness that I wake up to the information Mona Hammond has died

“Amongst her a lot of achievements she co-launched Talawa Theatre Business in 1985. She was also a @RADA_London graduate and been given an honorary RADA Fellowship in 2019.”

Former EastEnders actress and pop star Michelle Gayle wrote: “A trailblazer. A Queen.”

Comic and actress Kathy Burke claimed: “I am so fortunate to have viewed Mona in hundreds of theatre productions in the 80’s/early 90’s. Usually a huge favourite with audiences, she could blow the roof off with her genius comic timing. RIP Impressive Mighty Mona.”

Replying, fellow comic and actress Meera Syal wrote: “I was blessed enough to share a stage with her in a output of Blood Wedding – phenomenal actress and human staying. Relaxation In Energy.”

Actress Cherrelle Skeete, who starred in the phase output of Harry Potter And The Cursed Kid, wrote: “Mainly because of her we can. We know the mountains you moved”.

Playwright Roy Williams basically tweeted: “We are listed here simply because she was there.”

Crimson Dwarf star Danny John-Jules praised the actress and people who had served looked just after her in what he identified as her “Last Curtain”.

Hammond was born Mavis Chin in Jamaica on New Year’s Day in 1931, to a Jamaican mom and Chinese father.

Shifting to the British isles in 1959 aged 28 on a Jamaican scholarship, she originally labored for a agency of architects in London all through the working day and spent the evenings learning at grownup instruction college or university City Lit.

The Duchess of Cornwall (left) with actress Mona Hammond during a reception at Clarence House in London to celebrate the Southbank Centre's WOW - Women of the World festival.
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Picture by: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images
Date taken: 08-Mar-2018
Hammond chatting with the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence Dwelling in 2018

In 1961, Hammond was awarded a scholarship to RADA, pursuing her dream to perform and graduating in 1964. She put in the relaxation of her lifestyle working as a professional actress.

Setting up her career on the phase, Hammond’s 1st foremost role was Lady Macbeth at the Roundhouse in 1970 in Peter Coe’s African edition of the participate in. She later invested two many years in productions at the Nationwide Theatre.

In 1986, Hammond co-established Talawa Theatre, a enterprise which championed black British actors.

A Jamaican patois phrase translating as gutsy and potent, Talawa is now a person of the UK’s most prominent black theatre providers.

Hammond, who married the moment, leaves driving a son, Matthew.

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