Elisabeth Sladen

Elisabeth Sladen


2/1/1948, Liverpool, England, UK



Birth Name



Also Known As

Elizabeth Sladen
  • The Doctor (Matt Smith) and Sarah Jane (...
  • Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) and Colone...
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures
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An only child, Sladen developed an interest in performing at an early age, beginning dance lessons when she was five and dancing in one production with the Royal Ballet. She eventually turned to acting, and after finishing grammar school, attended drama school for two years.

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Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • After the death of Barry Letts, (the Producer of Doctor Who that created the character of Sarah Jane Smith) Elisabeth Sladen paid tribute to him in Doctor Who Magazine 417.

    • Elisabeth Sladen's first television role after moving to London was as a female terrorist in an episode of Doomwatch, coincidentally also playing a character called Sarah.

    • Elisabeth Sladen cannot whistle. She was required to do so for her departure scene in The Hand of Fear so director Lennie Mayne whistled for her while she mimed along.

    • Whilst filming The Seeds of Doom Elisabeth Sladen casually leant on the TARDIS prop, which promptly collapsed on top of her. She was not seriously injured but the prop had to be replaced.

    • On Elisabeth Sladen's final day of filming during her tenure on the original series of Doctor Who she rid the cast and crew of a persistent fly by inadvertently swallowing it during dialogue rehearsal.

    • Elisabeth Sladen was almost drowned on location of Doctor Who when the boat she was piloting lost control and she was forced to jump overboard to avoid smashing into a cavern wall.

    • When Elisabeth Sladen left Doctor Who in 1976 it made front page news, highlighting both popular and critical acclaim for her role as Sarah Jane, as previously only a change of Doctors had merited such attention.

    • Elisabeth Sladen's first film role was as an uncredited extra in the 1965 iconic movie Ferry Cross the Mersey.

    • When Elisabeth Sladen was 11 she appeared as a mouse in a Royal Ballet production of The Nutcracker.

    • Elisabeth Sladen was voted best Best Guest actress by readers of Doctor Who Magazine for School Reunion in 2006.

    • Elisabeth Sladen's first stage appearance was as a corpse. However, she was scolded for giggling on stage, thanks to a young actor Brian Miller; who she would marry three years later, whispering "Respiration nil, Aston Villa two" in her ear during her performance.

    • Elisabeth Sladen won the 2006 Cult TV Best Guest Appearance award for her reprisal of the role of Sarah Jane Smith in the Doctor Who episode School Reunion.

    • She was very saddened and heartbroken when Jon Pertwee died in 1996. She and Pertwee were close friends, and she cried for weeks after his death.

    • Sarah Jane Smith is probably best known as the companion to two Doctors (Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker) in Doctor Who. She later appears in 2006 alongside David Tennant, the 10th Doctor in School Reunion.

  • Quotes

    • Elisabeth Sladen: (About her Sarah Jane Adventures co-stars) K-9 is good when he's used properly but it's difficult to work with an inanimate object. I know Tom [Baker] used to kick him across the studio. So to have the children instead, real flesh and blood, is better. I was worried because you look at the age group and they could have been spawn of the devil. But they are such lovely children.

    • Elisabeth Sladen: (About the first day filming School Reunion) I just wanted to go in and do the work, I had so many flowers in the trailer I thought I'd died! It really was not very low key.

    • Elisabeth Sladen: Occasionally hoodies will come up and I think 'Oh God, I'm going to be mugged',but they're so nice to me! 'Hello, Sarah', they'll say. At Charing Cross Station the other week, I was just sitting there with my coffee waiting for a connection, and this guy didn't stop walking, he just came up and said 'god bless you, Sarah', and walked off! It's sort of non-intrusive and I'm sure it's not what the Doctors get at all, but it's always very sweet, I like it.

    • Elisabeth Sladen: It is science fiction, but really Doctor Who is about relationships. It's about being made to look a fool every week if you're the assistant:- "Yes Doctor, No Doctor, but... I will look a fool to help my friend and I don't care how stupid I look, because he needs help."

    • Elisabeth Sladen: (About The Five Doctors) It was wonderful for what it was and it's Doctor Who and you open a can of beans and what have you got? Nothing really, you've got froth. But somewhere in there you've got a programme about heroes and there's still something in there that captures hold of people today, so in one way we shouldn't dismiss it. You've got good, you've got evil and good wins. It should scare, but it's a good sort of scared and the blood is tomato sauce.

    • Elisabeth Sladen: I did three years at the Aylesbury theatre, but no one really knows that. Maybe two people saw me do Desdemona, maybe 1000's did, but they'll never remember it. But they'll remember a massive spider being lodged on your back.

    • Elisabeth Sladen: (about the reaction to the Sarah Jane Adventures) I was very worried that all the kids would just be into Grange Hill and really wouldn't care about some silly old lady running about! But where we film Sarah Jane's house in Cardiff, the local school bus now does a free tour going past the house and they all wave. The local Brownies walking past to say hello too, it's lovely.

    • Elisabeth Sladen: (about the dangers of conventions) One of the funniest things was being at a convention and we were turfed out of our hotel in Philadelphia. The guy who organized it wasn't paying the bill. So we had to relocate to the Holiday Inn and Jon Pertwee's wife Ingebourg was going, "Jon, Jon." Out come the funny pills - valium or something. And we'd started in the morning on Bloody Marys - the hospitality was wonderful. Anyway, between the two things I don't remember anything about that convention whatsoever - probably my best performance ever, I woke up in the shower at 3am. I had no idea what happened in Philadelphia.

    • Elisabeth Sladen: (about The Sarah Jane Adventures) We finished School Reunion in the autumn of 2005 and I didn't know until early January that they wanted to see me for something else. Initially I thought it was Torchwood. I thought 'ooh I'm going to get pass the nine o'clock zone', but t'was not to be - but I'm really, really pleased.

    • Elisabeth Sladen: (about working with Tom Baker) I didn't see Tom socially. I once met him on Regent Street, and he asked me to have a Guinness, but I think it freaked us both out – the Doctor and Sarah-Jane drinking on Regent Street! The relationship worked so well that we didn't want to spoil it.

    • Elisabeth Sladen: Sarah Jane used to be a bit of a cardboard cut-out. Each week it used to be, 'Yes Doctor, no Doctor', and you had to flesh your character out in your mind — because if you didn't, no one else would.

  • Liz is hot!

    Elizabeth Sladen is my second favorite Who girl, behind Lalla Ward. To me she will always be Sarah Jane Smith. When she first appear on Dr. Who in the early 1970, and I catch the reruns in the 1980's, she was gorgous. she is a girl who can put up with anything. she is not only carazy, but she is sexy. I saw her iun a clip on Youtube and she loojks young, even if she turns 60 next year. I know she got married in the 1980's, but I don't know if she is still married. Just wondering. I love british women. I love Elisabrth sladen.moreless
  • Lis Sladen defined the role of companion on Doctor Who, and is still going strong.

    Elisabeth Sladen is to Doctor Who companions what Tom Baker is to the Doctor himself. Born to play the role.

    When you put the 2 actors together between in 1974 and 1976, you got the golden age of Doctor Who. Now we have a new golden age, and it's only fitting that Lis is part of it again. From her smashing return in the episode "School Reunion" to her surprisingly good children's spinoff "Sarah Jane Adventures", it's obvious that the series is even better with Lis back in the fold. If there's any negatives to Lis, it's that her range is limited. It really doesn't matter though, because she finally returned to the role that she loves... and the role that she was born to play.moreless