Actress Mona Hammond has died at the age of 91.
The Jamaican-British TV star was best known for his portrayal of Blossom Jackson on the hit BBC soap opera EastEnders.
Marcus Ryder, the Chair of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (Rada), confirmed the news of Hammond’s death on social media.
“It is with sadness that I awaken to the news that Mona Hammond has passed away,” he wrote. “Among her many accomplishments, she co-founded the Talawa Theater Company in 1985.
“She was also a @RADA_London graduate and received an Honorary Rada Scholarship in 2019.”
Hammond performed regularly EastEnders between 1994 and 1997, he later reprized the role in 2010.
She was born in Jamaica and moved to the UK in 1959. In addition to their time EastEndersHammond also had a prolific career in television, appearing in programs, among others Coronation Street, Doctor Who and accident.
In one of her most famous roles, she played Susu on the sitcom desmonds from 1990 to 1994. She then reprized the role in the shorter-lived spin-off pork pie (1995 to 1996).
In addition to her many screen appearances, Hammond was also a respected stage actress and was acclaimed as the co-founder of the Talawa Theater Company, one of the country’s leading black theater companies.
In 2015, Hammond was awarded an OBE by the Queen.
After the news of her death, tributes to the actress piled up on social media.
“Mona Hammond, a trailblazer in every way,” wrote ITV presenter Charlene White. “Many Thanks.”
“RIP Mona Hammond,” wrote radio host and journalist Lorraine King. “An extremely talented Jamaican actress who has done theater and television but will always be Aunt SuSu desmonds for many of us.
“She will be greatly missed. May she sleep peacefully.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/mona-hammond-death-age-cause-eastenders-b2115831.html Death of Mona Hammond: The EastEnders and Desmond star has died aged 91