Last nights announcement that Lis Sladen had passed away has sent shockwaves through fandom, and indeed the whole entertainment community. Tributes have been pouring in via Twitter, the forum and facebook from hundreds and thousands of people saddened by the news of her passing.
As Sarah Jane Smith, Lis Sladen was a familiar face to millions of people accross the world. Her brilliant portrayal of the intrepdid reporter and her warmth and charm won her legions of fans across many generations and is a proud testament to the fact that nearly 40 years after her very first appearance in Doctor Who, the character is still at the forefront of peoples affections and at the height of her popularity.
Companions in Doctor Who come and go, but very few have had the longevity that Sarah Jane Smith has enjoyed, which is due in large part to the respect that Elisabeth Sladen gave the show, the character and most importantly the fans. Always friendly and warm and willing to chat, she understood, perhaps more than most, why this crazy group of people kept tuning in each week. She knew just how much the show meant to us all and was respectful of that because it had always been equally as important to her.
Elisabeth Sladen was one of the brightest lights in the Whoniverse, and the sky will shine a little dimmer now that she has gone. But she can rest in peace knowing that she will be so very fondly remembered by so many millions of people, and that Sarah Jane Smith will live on in the hearts and minds of fans for generations to come.
In Loving Memory Of Lis Sladen, 1948-2011