Elisabeth Sladen, (1 February 1948 – 19 April 2011)
I was saddened to awake to the news this morning that Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who passed away on Tuesday after a long fight with cancer.
Sarah Jane Smith was the companion to two Doctors, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker and was a regular in the series from 1973 – 76. She was an immensely popular character and was resurrected during David Tennant’s tenure as the Doctor and even starred in her own spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures.
As a chid she was my constant companion from 6.30pm Monday to Thursday nights when I was glued to our old black and white TV to watch the Doctor’s adventures, and then for the rest of the week accompanied me in my imaginary fights with Daleks and Cybermen with the rest of the neighbourhoods children who were all hooked on the show as well.
Steven Moffat in his tribute put it so perfectly, I cannot improve on this: "'Never meet your heroes', wise people say. 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.
"She was exactly as any child would ever have wanted her to be. Kind and gentle and clever; and a ferociously talented actress but in that perfectly English unassuming way."
Farewell Elisabeth. Even though I never met you, I’d like to thank you for being my constant companion during my childhood and teen years, one couldn’t have asked for a more perfect friend.