I never wanted to see these words, much less type them: Elisabeth Sladen, the former Doctor Who co-star who went on many years later to star in her own spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, has died at the age of 63.
The cause of her death was cancer, according to the BBC.
Sladen first joined Doctor Who in 1973 opposite Jon Pertwee, and stayed for Tom Baker’s formative years in the role. She would return for an abortive spinfoff, K-9 and Company, a series of full-cast audio dramas and various TV reunion episodes before getting her own series, finally, in 2007. The show has seen four successful seasons, with a fifth greenlit.
Just a couple months ago her Doctor Who co-star Nicholas Courtney passed away at the age of 81. There will be a U.N.I.T. reunion in heaven tonight…
Current Doctor Who producer Steven Moffat said of Sladen:
“Sarah Jane Smith was everybody’s hero when I was younger, and as brave and funny and brilliant as people only ever are in stories. But many years later, when I met the real Sarah Jane – Lis Sladen herself – she was exactly as any child ever have wanted her to be. Kind and gentle and clever; and a ferociously talented actress, of course, but in that perfectly English unassuming way.