The trailblazing star played Blossom on the BBC’s long-running soap between 1994 and 1997 and then again in 2010 but is best know for her pioneering work co-founding the Talawa Theatre Company.
In that capacity, she was able to nurture hundreds of Black actors and directors, with the company’s focus being to reinterpret classic plays with actors from the Black British, Caribbean and African diaspora in the UK.
Its first production was a reworking of CLR James’ The Black Jacobins with an all-Black cast.
“We are devastated to hear of the passing of Mona Hammond OBE,” the company tweeted yesterday. “As one of the founders of Talawa, a trailblazer and champion of Black British theatre, Mona’s passion and vision will remain fundamental to all we do, and her legacy will forever burn bright.”
Hammond’s TV acting roles included parts on Coronation Street, The Sweeney, Desmond’s and The Crouches. She also appeared in films such as Manderlay, Kinky Boots and 10,000 BC.
However, it was as Jackson family matriarch Blosson in EastEnders where she was most well known in Britain. She was given an OBE for services to UK drama in 2005 and landed several other gongs for her work.
Born Mavis Chin in Jamaica to Chinese and Jamaican parents, she emigrated to the UK in 1959 before changing her name as he moved into acting.
She is survived by a son.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.