'Doctor Who' actress Elisabeth Sladen dies at age 63


Image Credit: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

British actress Elisabeth Sladen died this morning, according to a statement issued by the BBC. Sladen was best known for her role as Sarah Jane Smith in the long-running BBC sc-fi show Doctor Who.

The actress first played Sarah Jane in 1973 and returned to the part on numerous occasions, becoming a favorite of Doctor Who fans. Starting in 2007, Sladen starred in a spin-off show, The Sarah Jane Adventures.

In the BBC statement, current Doctor Who head writer and exec producer Steven Moffat pays tribute to the actress. “’Never meet your heroes’ wise people say,” Moffat is quoted as saying. “They weren’t thinking of Lis 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.”

Sladen, who was 63, had been suffering from cancer.

Comments (106 total) Add your comment
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  • jules

    Heartbreaking news. Rest in peace, Sarah Jane.

    • Flip

      This is so sad. I guess this means there will be no more Sarah Jane Adventures. Maybe Doctor Who will do a special episode with the cast.

      • darclyte

        They had been filming the 5th season which was to air this Fall. I hope that they’ll honor her by airing the episodes that have been produced so far.

      • dee dee

        Very sad indeed!

    • Annanng

      roj December 14, 2009 God. I Love This Post. This one made me think back to our first six months. Too bad me and my pnatrer’s not that romantic ’cause, you know, the eyes of narrow minded people. Hehe. Oh well. I envy you. Haha. Best of luck to both of you

  • wierdalexj

    Wow. Wasn’t expecting that. This sucks. R.I.P. Elisabeth Sladen.

  • znachki

    Farewell Sarah Jane… RIP Lis Sladen.

  • Cris

    I feel like I’ve lost a friend. Sarah Jane was always one of my favorite companions, from the time I watched the show as a kid to the new episodes and the Sarah Jane Adventures now. Rest in peace.

    • REW

      Same-it’s so unfair. We already lost the Brig just two months ago, now Sarah Jane? 2011 is a cruel year for Doctor Who fans.

      • mb

        REW, who is the Brig?

      • Ben

        Brig= Brigadier General Alasdair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart. The head of unit and a fixture in most of the Pertwee era and seen a lot in the Tom Baker years, as well. He also guested in a Davidson episode (I believe it was the Mawdryn Undead).

      • Susan

        I think the undead eps involved Sylvester McCoy, but I could be wrong. But I’ll miss both of them. May they rest in peace.

    • Alyssa

      I feel the same way. I didn’t know her, but I feel as if I’ve lost a friend. That says a lot about her as an actress and as a person, I think.

  • Mark

    Dreadful news!

  • Mark

    Dreadful news

  • harry

    R.I.P. Elisabeth Sladen

  • Ellie


  • Kate

    That is so sad, some of my favorite episodes of the David Tennant run were when she and her son were featured.

  • Chelsea

    Oh no, so sad to hear this! I had no idea she was ill. RIP, Elisabeth.

    • Christian

      , No, I booked my flihgt online and rode the plane. Oh and another one I also get is Do you still live in teepees. Which is wrong cuz I’m not a plains Indian that you see on those old black and white western videos but rather Navajo and our traditional home is the hogan. All in all, I agree with ya on your blog about your view of stereotypes. But sometimes, you find a person that embodies the stereotype and you can’t help but smile. And as for the Japanese one. I gotta do some research of my own to see if it is true. Haha. J/K.

  • Violet

    This is so sad. RIP Elisabeth.

  • Julia McCoy

    This is very sad :( You will always be in our hearts, Sarah Jane.

  • Ben

    Who? indeed.

    • jp


      • Anthony

        aika September 22, 2009 eeewwwyou made me reailze isa akong malaking third wheel!!!sabi ko nga ba na dapat hindi kita sinamahan nun eh di sana mas may moment kayo nun hahaha. joke lang yoshke. leche ka, kinikilig ako sa kabadingan mo. ang haba ng hair mo ha! me likes this to infinity and beyond!

    • Jose

      karl deogracias July 9, 2010 this post is quite old pero cemnomt pa rin ako.i have been here at france for around 10 years now and theres a little truth the the frenchies arrogance. but for me the worse people are the brits. they are the most racist and the most arrogant..if not for the english channel and the americans, the british would be speaking german.

  • David James

    A major part of my childhood died with Elizabeth’s untimely death, RIP Sarah Jane you will be sadly missed.

  • Bonnie

    Shocked and so sad. We will always love you

    • googie


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