The actress enthralled generations for her portrayal of Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Her character was first seen on screen in 1974's The Time Warrior alongside Jon Pertwee and she stayed with the show until the 1976 story The Hand of Fear, starring alongside Tom Baker.
Elisabeth Sladen reprised the role on several occasions, in special episodes, spin-offs and radio dramas.
In 2006, Sarah Jane returned to Doctor Who alongside David Tennant, 30 years after her initial departure. This successful appearance led to the character landing her own spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, which ran for five series and became the highest rating show on CBBC.
The actress was diagnosed with cancer in Febuary 2011 and passed away two months later. Sladen kept her illness private, telling only close family and friends including husband Brian Miller and daughter Sadie. Her death shocked and saddened fans across the world, with tributes being paid in newspapers, websites and social networks. CBBC showed a ten-minute tribute to Sladen, which included contributions from her co-stars, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Russell T Davies and Katy Manning. The Doctor Who episode The Impossible Astronaut was dedicated to the actress. Later in 2011, her official autobiography was published which included some of her stories from working on Doctor Who.
Sarah Jane Smith was the most-loved Doctor Who companion, with Sladen winning the most popular companion poll in 2009 by the readers of Doctor Who Magazine.
Although Elisabeth Sladen is no longer with us, she achieved an enormous amount in her career, appearing in numerous episodes, starring alongside several Doctors and inspiring both children and adults over nearly for decades.
Elisabeth Clara Heath-Sladen (1 February 1946 – 19 April 2011)