The following had originally been posted on the SciFi Roundup schedule page when it happened on April 19, 2011. We are moving it to the main article page so that it will be seen by a larger portion of our readership.
R.I.P. Elisabeth Sladen 1948-2011
Elisabeth Sladen, who played Doctor Who’s companion Sarah Jane Smith, died April 19, 2011 of cancer. After such a loss, it’s impossible not to put up a tribute. Here are a few pages of interest, in no particular order.
Doctor Who News Page – It is with great sadness that we report the death of the actress Elisabeth Sladen – forever known to us as the Doctor’s best friend, Sarah Jane Smith. Despite choosing to leave the programme in 1976, with an emotional departure scene at the conclusion of the serial The Hand of Fear, Sladen later stated in interviews that although she had left Sarah Jane, “Sarah Jane never left me”. The character, and Sladen’s performance, proved to be as popular as ever, if not more so, and led to her own starring role in spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures; the CBBC series continued on from her re-introduction in Doctor Who as an independent investigator of alien activity – now joined by her young own assistants as well as her faithful K9 – and winning a whole new legion of fans, both young and old. It is also a testament to the strength of the show that it has been graced by the appearance of the both the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney), and the Doctor himself in both his Tenth incarnation in The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith (and David Tennant’s final performance as the Doctor), and Eleventh in the form of Matt Smith in Death of the Doctor – where Sladen was also to come ‘full circle’ by performing with the actress she ‘replaced’ way back in 1973, Katy Manning, aka Jo Jones né Grant.
Daily Mail – Tributes have been pouring in for Doctor Who actress Elisabeth Sladen who died yesterday following a battle with cancer aged 63. Leading them was former Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies, who brought her back to Doctor Who, and said it was ‘an honour to have worked with her’. Speaking this morning, he said: “It’s devastating, it’s no age at all is it? All of us who worked on Doctor Who and Sarah Jane are just reeling at the moment. It’s so sad. It was a joy to know the woman and an honour to have worked with her, I loved her.”
Tom Baker also paid tribute to Sladen and took to his blog on his official website to share his thoughts about the actress who starred alongside him. He wrote: “Sarah Jane dead? No, impossible! Impossible. Only last week I agreed to do six new audio adventures with her for Big Finish Productions. She can’t be dead. But she is, she died yesterday morning. Cancer. I had no idea she was ill; she was so private, never wanted any fuss, and now, gone. A terrible blow to her friends and a shattering blow for all those fans of the programme whose lives were touched every Saturday evening by her lovely heroic character, Sarah-Jane Smith. Lis Sladen was very important to me, you know. Lis laughed at my silly antics; yes, she did, she laughed me to success.”
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