Mona Hammond, EastEnders And Desmond's Star, Dies Aged 91

She has been celebrated as a "trailblazer" and "phenomenal actress" in tributes posted on social media.
Mona Hammond pictured in 2008
Mona Hammond pictured in 2008
Jon Furniss via Getty Images

Former EastEnders and Desmond’s star Mona Hammond has died at the age of 91.

The actor was best known for portraying Blossom Jackson in the BBC soap between 1994 and 1997, and for playing Auntie Susu in the sitcom Desmond’s and its spin-off Porkpie.

Mona’s death was confirmed by the chair of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (Rada) on Tuesday morning.

Marcus Ryder said on Twitter: “It is with sadness that I wake up to the news Mona Hammond has died. Among her numerous achievements she co-founded Talawa Theatre Company in 1985.

“She was also a @RADA_London graduate and received an honorary Rada Fellowship in 2019.”

After moving to the UK from Jamaica in 1959 aged 28, Mona graduated from Rada after three years in 1964.

Eight years prior to landing the role of Blossom in EastEnders, she had a guest role on the soap, playing a midwife.

She also returned to Albert Square as Blossom for a one-off appearance in 2010 for the funeral of her character’s grandson Billy Jackson.

Mona with some of her EastEnders co-stars at the NTAs in 1997
Mona with some of her EastEnders co-stars at the NTAs in 1997
TV Times via Getty Images

Mona was also beloved for appearing in Channel 4 sitcom Desmond’s, appearing as Auntie Susu between 1990 and 1994, before reprising the role in a spin-off Porkpie from 1995 to 1996.

Her other credits include Pig Heart Boy, The Sweeney, Coronation Street, Doctor Who and Casualty.

Mona also co-founded the Talawa Theatre Company, one of the country’s foremost Black theatre groups, and she was awarded an OBE in 2005 for her services to drama.

Following news of Mona’s death, many tributes were paid on social media...

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