Sarah Jane Smith is perhaps the most famous and beloved companion in all of “Doctor Who’s” history.
Sadly, actress Elisabeth Sladen passed away today at age 65. No details surrounding her passing have been formally announced but reports suggest Sladen died through complications arising from her fight with cancer.
Assisting The Doctor in his travels, Sladen appeared in 81 episodes of the classic “Doctor Who” series (working with both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker), according to Internet Movie Database. She later made a brief appearance in Russell T. Davies’ revitalized era in 2006, teaming up with David Tennant and Billie Piper, and then went solo for her own spin-off series.
She also appeared in the final episodes of “Doctor Who’s” fourth season, with an additional cameo appearance in David Tennant’s final episode as The Doctor.
Before the official announcement was made on BBC News, reports of her passing had been circulating social networking sites, including Twitter. Actress Nicola Bryant, who also played a companion on the classic series, tweeted the news earlier today.
“I’m so sorry to have to say I’ve just had a call to say Liz Sladen has died,” she tweeted. “It’s too much to take in, but it’s true. How tragically young.”
The official Doctor Who Magazine has also expressed its sadness at the news.
“With great sadness, DWM must report the loss of our beloved Sarah Jane, actress Elisabeth Sladen. The best of best friends. Too, too sad.”