Mary Tamm was born in Bradford , Yorkshire. Her parents were refugees from Estonia.
She attended Bradford Girls Grammar school, and left with 6 O- levels and 3 A-levels.
She trained at Rada where she won the Emile Littler and Hannam Clarke awards.
Her first professional job was at the new Birmingham Repertory theatre where she spent nine months in the new building on Broad Street, working alongside Derek Jacobi, Joan Sims and Ronnie Barker.
TV work swiftly followed, notably, The Donati Conspiracy, with the late and great Richard Beckinsale, and Girls of Slender Means, with Miriam Margolyes and Patricia Hodge.
Her first feature film was Tales that Witness Madness, with Kim Novak, a cult classic, and The Odessa File, with Jon Voight, which pitched her career into the international arena.