Mona Hammond was born Mavis Chin to a Chinese father and Jamaican mother in Jamaica in 1931. She came to Britain in 1959 on a scholarship to work with an architects firm but was soon involved in black theatre productions with contemporaries such as Lloyd and Barry Reckord and Charles Hyatt, under the name Mona Chin. In 1959 she won a scholarship to RADA. Initially known as a stage actress - she played Lady Macbeth in an all-black version of the Shakespeare play at London's Roundhouse in 1970 - she went to co-found the Talawa Theatre Group with fellow actresses Yvonne Brewster and Carmen Munroe. The group performs black versions of plays written for whites as well as staging original Afro-Caribbean productions. In 2005 she was awarded an O.B.E. for services to drama. Having played in the TV soap 'Eastenders' for some years she has a recurring occasional role as a white vicar's outspoken ex-mother-in-law in radio soap 'The Archers.'