8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Brilliant Career,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: First Generation: The Autobiography of Mary Tamm (Paperback)
This is a bright and breezy record of how a Bradford girl of Estonian descent emerged from the terraced streets of the city's Manningham district to appear on the world stage, to find roles in acclaimed films and to become a household name, at least in households where Dr Who was a favourite. It's crammed full of choice 'plums' - such as the time she took David Hockney home. He drew a portrait of her Mum. She wasn't impressed and consigned it to the flames when he'd gone.
Mary comes across as warm, witty and wise. She might move among the rich and famous, but she hasn't lost her head, she hasn't lost her Northern scepticism and she hasn't lost her heart. The story ends too soon. Let's hope there's a sequel on the way.
I like to think I was Mary Tamm's first fan, though that honour probably properly belongs to members of her family. My claim to having sent her her first fan letter might be on a firmer ground.
It was back in 1967 when flower power was blooming. I was in the middle of what would now be called a gap year, but for me at the time it was just 12 months of idleness and anxiety as I wondered what to do.
I lived in Bradford and Mary was a pupil at Bradford Girls' Grammar School. They were doing a Shakespeare play. I can't remember which one, but Mary was in it. A piece about it was published in the local paper along with a photo of Mary.
I was 18 and capable of falling in love with every pretty girl that walked by. I fell in love with the photo of Mary and sent her a fan letter care of the newspaper.
I got a reply! I wrote to her again and got another reply. How I wish I'd kept those letters. I can see her bold, handsome handwriting to this day. I used to write poems and short stories in those days and sent some to her. She agreed to meet to discuss them.
Bradford's new central library had not been open long. It was very popular with young people. They congregated there on the pretext of studying but were really just hanging out. I met Mary outside the entrance. We sat on bench there. She was even more entrancing in the flesh than in her photo. She was wearing blue jeans and a black top as I recall. We talked about my writing. She was gracious and friendly. After she'd gone, I sat there stunned.
Of course it all went to my head and I fell head over heels in love. I bombarded her with letters. She lost patience in the end and told me off, adding for good measure that she was off down to London with her boyfriend to study drama.
Many years later when she was famous I sent her a copy of a book I'd had published. She sent a card in reply thanking me and saying she remembered our meeting. I dare say she did. If I did nothing else I taught her very early on not to give her fans too much encouragement.
It was such a shock to hear that she died. She was younger than me and I thought she'd always be there, impossibly remote and glamorous, but still there and however unlikely it might be that there would still always be the possibility of meeting her again. No more alas. The world is much diminished without her.