Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Remembering Sarah Jane: Elisabeth Sladen. 1948 - 2011

Elisabeth Sladen(BBC)

Doctor Who actress Elisabeth Sladen has died of cancer at the age of 63, the BBC has confirmed.

Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen (PA)
[Elisabeth Sladen is pictured alongside fourth Doctor Tom Baker after he was announced as the new Time Lord. Roger Carey, who represented Lis for many years, said. "She couldn't believe her luck when her career was resurrected in her own series." Lis had been suffering from cancer. She leaves behind a husband, actor Brian Miller, and her daughter Sadie.]

Steven Moffat, Doctor Who's executive producer said: "'Never meet your heroes wise people say. They weren't thinking of Lis Sladen." He added: "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."

Elisabeth Sladen (BBC)

Elisabeth Sladen was born in Liverpool in 1948. She's best known as the companion to the third and fourth Doctors, played by Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. She left the part on a full-time basis in 1976, but returned to the role on numerous occasions over the years. The Sarah Jane Adventures brought Lis a whole new generation of fans.

Steven Moffat continued: "Kind and gentle and clever, and a ferociously talented actress, of course, but in that perfectly English unassuming way. There are a blessed few who can carry a whole television show on their talent and charisma - but I can't think of one other who's done it quite so politely."

Cast of The Sarah Jane Adventures including Elisabeth Sladen (Image © BBC)
[Elisabeth Sladen is pictured with the cast of The Sarah Jane Adventures. The show's creator Russell T Davies 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 world was lucky to have Lis."]

Moffat added: "I once showed my son Joshua an old episode of Doctor Who, in which Lis appeared. 'But that's Sarah Jane,' he said, confused. 'In old Doctor Who. From years ago. How come she always looks exactly the same?' It's not a comfort today, of course, but children will still be saying that 50 years from now."

Elisabeth Sladen (PA)
Elisabeth Sladen appeared in numerous shows outside of the Doctor Who universe. One of her early roles came in 1970; she featured in six episodes of Coronation Street as a barmaid. Her CV included guest roles in Z-Cars, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em and Special Branch. She was also an accomplished stage actress. She will be missed...

Elisabeth Sladen had been suffering from cancer. She leaves behind a husband - actor Brian Miller - and her daughter, Sadie.

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