Doctor Who actress Elisabeth Sladen has died aged 63, after a long battle against cancer.
Elisabeth Sladen had played Doctor Who’s assistant, Sarah Jane Smith, between 1973 and 1976, first alongside Jon Pertwee, and then Tom Baker.
Her strong journalist character made her one of the more memorable of Doctor Who’s assistants.
She later appeared in a Doctor Who episode, School Reunion, with David Tennant, which also saw K-9 return.
This launched a starring role for her in the CBBC series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, which was written by Doctor Who writer/producer Steven Moffat.
The Sarah Jane Adventures crosed-over with the main Doctor Who series directly on more than one occassion, specifically The Stolen Earth (2008), Journey’s End (2008) and The End of Time (2010).
Matt Smith, the current Doctor Who, said, “I will miss her, as will the world of Doctor Who and all the Doctors that had the good pleasure to work with Lis Sladen and travel the universe with Sarah-Jane.”
Doctor Who co-star John Barrowman said via Twitter, “I loved my time on the Tardis with her. I am proud to have worked with such an icon of the sci-fi world.”
Steven Moffat said, “I absolutely loved Lis. She was funny and cheeky and clever and just simply wonderful. The universe was lucky to have Sarah Jane Smith; the world was lucky to have Lis.”
Elisabeth Sladen played various supporting roles in TV series, playing a bar maid in Coronation Street for six episodes, as well as appearing in Z Cars, Public Eye, and Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em.
The new Doctor Who series begins this Saturday, starting with “Episode 1: The Impossible Astronaut”. The BBC have promised a suitable tribute.