|David Tennant (The Doctor) and Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)|
Elisabeth Sladen, 63, passed away after a battle with cancer. The actress portrayed Sarah Jane Smith on the original show on and off from 1973 to the present. While I admit I was late on the Doctor Who bandwagon, only coming in at the start of the new series, I have retroactively watched many of the Sarah Jane adventures with Tom Baker and John Pertwee as well as her appearances on the new and found her delightful.
The news has been confirmed by fellow Doctor Who alum Nicola Bryant in a tweet:
I'm so sorry to have to say I've just had a call to say Liz Sladen has died. It's too much to take in, but it's true. How tragically young.
And also by Gallifrey One, the annual Doctor Who convention:
We are absolutely devastated to note the passing today of the extraordinary Elisabeth Sladen. Our deepest sympathies to her family.
My heart goes out to her friends and family.