Best known for her role as Sarah Jane Smith--The Doctor’s longest-running, and much-loved assistant--Sladen’s been a favourite with Who fans since the 70s. She starred alongside Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker as a regular in the sci-fi series’ early years, from 1973 to 1976 (as well as a one-off guest spot in 1983), and was so popular she was given her own children’s series (The Sarah Jane Adventures) in 2007.
“She couldn't believe her luck when her career was resurrected in her own series,” Elisabeth’s friend and publicist Roger Carey, remembers: "she was so positive about life and her natural energy was intoxicating,” he added. While those close to her knew she was battling cancer, Elisabeth never made it public. The Sarah Jane Adventures’ last two-part episode aired late last year, poignantly titled Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith.
As well as starring in the old Doctor Who series, and spin-off, she also sporadically appeared in the more recent 2005 series. Her last appearance on the show was alongside the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, on January 1, 2010. The most recent Doctor, played by Matt Smith, joined Elisabeth for a special episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures last October.
Here’s a profile of Sladen's time as Sarah Jane. What’s your fondest memory?
Share your tributes below.