Mona Hammond Lifeless: ‘EastEnders’ Star was 91

Mona Hammond, a previous “EastEnders” star and West Close trailblazer, has died. She was 91.

No bring about of loss of life has been given.

Hammond was ideal acknowledged for participating in “EastEnders” matriarch Blossom on the very long-working British cleaning soap opera as perfectly as co-founding the Black British theater firm Talawa alongside Yvonne Brewster, Carmen Munroe and Inigo Espejel in 1986.

The actor was of Chinese and Jamaican heritage, according to the Guardian, shifting her identify from Mavis Chin to Mona Hammond to steer clear of typecasting. Hammond was born in Jamaica and moved to Britain in 1959, performing in an office environment although attending night performing courses. In advance of extensive, she experienced won a scholarship to leading British acting faculty RADA. She graduated in 1964 and was before long gracing the boards in theaters across the country.

She also appeared in 70 roles on screen, together with in comedies “The Crouches” and “Us Women,” as nicely as participating in Aunty Susu in sitcom “Desmond’s,” which ran from 1989 to 1994, and soaps these as “Coronation Avenue,” “Holby City” and “Doctors.” In 2005 she appeared in the film “Kinky Boots” along with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joel Edgerton and Sarah-Jane Potts.

In 2006 she performed Rita-Anne in “Doctor Who,” together with David Tennant and Billie Piper, and two yrs later experienced a job in Roland Emmerich’s attribute “10,000 BC.”

Her final on-display function was in 2016, in a small identified as “Bucky” reverse Frances Barber.

News of Hammond’s death prompted an outpouring of tributes, which include from RADA, who tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mona Hammond, trailblazer, RADA Graduate and honorary fellow” while the “EastEnders” Twitter account also paid out tribute, posting: “We are deeply saddened to hear that Mona Hammond has handed away. Mona produced a no-nonsense grandmother in Blossom Jackson who was adored by the audience and all people who labored with her. Our enjoy and ideas are with Mona’s relatives and mates.”

Jo Martin, who performed Hammond’s daughter Natalie in “The Crouches,” wrote: “Mona Hammond, honoured to be her monitor daughter. RIP Queen.”

Talawa’s creative director Michael Buffong explained in a assertion: “Throughout her substantial vocation, Mona has been a trailblazer in the arts and her unbelievable legacy will proceed she embodies Talawa – ‘small but mighty.’”

The theater company also revealed a tribute to Hammond on their website. “We are devastated to listen to of the passing of Mona Hammond OBE,” the statement reads. “Known and loved by quite a few as Blossom in ‘Eastenders’ and Aunty SuSu in ‘Desmond’s,’ we knew Mona as the co-founder of Talawa Theatre Firm – she was our National Treasure. As just one of the founders of Talawa Theatre Firm, Mona’s enthusiasm and vision have been elementary to all we do to generate Black theatre and make theatre more accessible for Black people in the U.K.”

“Her prominent roles in theatre, Tv set and film, enable other people to stand on her shoulders,” the statement proceeds. “Mona Hammond encouraged and continues to encourage so lots of who will constantly be indebted directly or indirectly by her good system of perform. Mona was in the quite initial Talawa output in 1986, a dramatization of ‘The Black Jacobins’ by CLR James  – the story of Toussaint Louverture, who led the Haitian revolution. At a time when it was believed that Black actors could not perform British classics, Mona redefined basic roles these types of as Girl Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Value of Getting Earnest’ in 1989.” 
“Mona’s repertoire also integrated Madam Love in the Jamaican traditional ‘An Echo in the Bone’ by Dennis Scott in 1986, explained by The Caribbean Times as ‘drama which touches the human soul’, the musical ‘O Babylon!’ in 1988, and her reimaging of the Idiot in Talawa’s 1994 manufacturing of ‘King Lear.’”

“Talawa would not exist with out Mona and her fellow co-founders Yvonne Brewster, Carmen Munroe, and Inigo Espejel she was instrumental in pushing forward the Black Theatre motion in the U.K. Mona was an integral and beloved member of the Talawa household, and we will miss her considerably.”

Hammond is survived by a son and a granddaughter.

A tribute celebrating Hammond’s contribution to stage and monitor will be held by Talawa Theater Organization in September.

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