Mona Hammond, star of ‘EastEnders’ and ‘Desmond’, dies at 91

Mona Hammond, star of EastEnders and Desmond's, has died aged 91.  (Getty Images)

Mona Hammond, star of EastEnders and Desmond’sdied at age 91. (Getty Images)

Mona Hammond – star of EastEnders and Desmond’s – died at age 91.

The Jamaican-born British actor of Chinese descent was known to many for playing Blossom Jackson in the BBC soap opera between 1994 and 2010.

Hammond was also much loved by fans of the Channel 4 sitcom 90’s Peckham. Desmond’s in which she played Ambrose Desmond’s flamboyant Aunt Susu, who came to visit from Jamaica.

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EastEnders released a statement on Twitter confirming, “We are deeply saddened to hear that Mona Hammond has passed away. Mona raised a hands-on grandmother in Blossom Jackson who was adored by the public and everyone who worked with her. Our love and thoughts are with the family and Mona’s friends.”

RADA President Marcus Ryder said, “It is with sadness that I wake up to the news of Mona Hammond’s death. Among her numerous accomplishments, she co-founded the Talawa Theater Company in 1985.

“She also graduated from RADA_London and received an honorary RADA Scholarship in 2019.”

Hammond – whose father was Chinese and mother Jamaican – moved to the UK in 1959 and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, graduating in 1964.

Mona Hammond talking to the Duchess of Cornwall at a reception for the 2018 Southbank Center 'Women Of The World Festival'. (Getty Images)

Mona Hammond talking to the Duchess of Cornwall at a reception for the 2018 Southbank Center ‘Women Of The World Festival’. (Getty Images)

She started her TV career and appeared as a midwife in EastEnders in 1986, helping to give birth to Michelle Fowler’s baby.

But it was in 1994 that she won the hearts of Albert Square fans as Blossom Jackson, great-grandmother of Billie, Bianca, Robbie and Sonia Jackson.

Hammond co-founded the black British theater company Tawala in 1986, producing reproductions of classics with black actors, as well as creating a platform for new plays by and about the British black community.

She was awarded an OBE on the Queen’s Birthday Honors List in 2005.

British actress Edith Evans (1888 - 1976), British theater director and author Basil Ashmore (1915 - 1998) and Jamaican actress Mona Hammond during rehearsals for 'The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Quest for God' at the Mermaid Theater in London, UK, February 2, 1968. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Getty Images)

Mona Hammond on stage at the Mermaid Theater in London in 1968. (Getty Images)

Among those who paid tribute to Hammond were former EastEnders star and singer Michelle Gayle.

Is it over there tweeted: “A pioneer. A queen. RIP Mona Hammond.”

loose women presenter Charlene White said: “Mona Hammond, a pioneer in every way. Thank you xx”

Give me, give me, give meby Kathy Burke tweeted: “I’m so lucky to have seen Mona in many theatrical productions in the 80s/early 90s. Always a huge crowd favorite, she could blow the ceiling with her comic genius. RIP Magnificent Mighty Mona.”

Comedian and actor Meera Syal added: “Yes Kath, every word. I was lucky enough to share a stage with her in a production of Blood Wedding – phenomenal actress and human being. Rest In Power #monahammond”

Former Eastenders actor Mona Hammond at a special Martin Scorsese gala screening

Mona Hammond was a pioneer of British black theater as well as a fan-loved TV star. (SHOVEL)

red dwarf star Danny John-Jules said: “Yesterday we lost a #WindrushLegend #MonaHammond All kudos to the ladies of the #VisitMona Group (Led by #SuzetteLlewellyn) Who tirelessly made sure Mona was well taken care of from the moment she walked into attendance, her ‘Final Curtain’. RIP “

star of doctors and Coronation Street Ray Fearon he wrote: “The Great Mona Hammond. RIP Jamaican Queen. Missing but never forgotten.”

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And author Dorothy Koomson said: “So sad. RIP Mona Hammond. X”

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