Today is the birthday of Elisabeth Sladen. She would have been 69 today, but she died from cancer four years ago. She was the first person to steal my heart, and I know that today will be very hard for her loving family.
I first saw her in “The Time Warrior”, the first episode of the 11th season of Doctor Who in 1973. She played the journalist Sarah Jane Smith, a feisty liberated modern woman with very modern ideas. She was brave and heroic, yet still got captured more times than any other Companion in Doctor Who history. One could not help but fall in love with her.
She was the last Companion of the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and the first Companion of the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker). She was so popular, when it was announced Elisabeth was leaving the show, it was the headline of the London Times.
She did lots of other work, but people loved her best as Sarah Jane. They tried to give her her own spin off show, but the pilot was not liked, and she returned for “The Five Doctors.” Elisabeth did numerous Doctor Who audio books. She was brought back for the new Doctor Who series in “School Reunion”, where she met the 10th Doctor (David Tennant). The audience response was so overwhelming, she received her own show, “The Sarah Jane Adventures”, which lasted 5 years, and appeared again and again on Doctor Who.
She had such a caring heart, that when she discovered that she had cancer, her chief concerns for her family she would leave behind, and all of the staff of her show who would be fired.
She died on April 19, 2011, leaving her life long husband Brian and daughter Sadie, both of whom continue to write and act.
The stars are jealous now, because there is someone in the heavens who shines brighter than they.
I miss you Lis.