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Doctor Who Actress Elisabeth Sladen Passes Away

| 20 Apr 2011 20:02
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Sladen's passing has prompted heartfelt messages of sympathy and affection from those who knew her.

Elisabeth Sladen, best known for her role as investigative journalist Sarah Jane Smith in the long running sci-fi series, Doctor Who, has died of cancer, aged 63. Sladen played the role of Smith opposite five separate Doctors, as well as in the spinoff show Sarah Jane Adventures.

Sladen's friends and co-workers have paid their respects to the actress, who joined the Doctor Who cast in 1973. Russell T. Davies, who helmed the Doctor Who revival in 2005, said that Sladen was "simply wonderful" and that the world was lucky to have her. Steven Moffat, who took over from Davies as Doctor Who's head writer in 2009, called her a "ferociously talented actress." Damian Kavanagh - controller of the BBC's "CBBC" children's brand, which aired Sarah Jane Adventures - said that Sladen "brought joy, excitement and a sense of wonder to her many fans in her role as Sarah Jane Smith." He said that she would be missed, both by the audience, and by him.

Tom Baker, who played the fourth Doctor alongside Sladen for two years, wrote a particularly heartfelt tribute to her on his official website. Baker said that pretty much everyone who came into contact with Sladen adored her, from directors and producers, to stuntmen and actors. He recalled his anxiety in working with Sladen for the first time in 1974 when he took over as Doctor from John Pertwee, saying that she was "already a star" when he joined the cast. He said that he very quickly came to adore her as well, and added that his fond memories of Sladen provided him with a great deal of comfort.

"Those sweet memories of happy days with Lis Sladen, the lovely, witty, kind and so talented Lis Sladen," he wrote. "I am consoled by the memories. I was there, I knew her, she was good to me and I shall always be grateful, and I shall miss her."

Source: via BBC

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