Nerdist was started by Chris Hardwick and has grown to be a many headed beast.

RIP Elisabeth Sladen

by on April 19, 2011

This news came an enormous shock today. I am deeply saddened to pass on the news that actress Elisabeth Sladen, who portrayed companion Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who, has passed away at the age of 63. Sladen portayed who to many is THE companion from 1973-1976 during what was arguably the show’s best and most successful period. Sladen returned to the role of the plucky news reporter in 1981′s spinoff attempt K-9 & Company as well as in “The Five Doctors,” Doctor Who‘s 20th Anniversary special. In 2006, she appeared in the new series episode “School Reunion,” which would lead to her own successful spinoff series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, which will air its fifth season some time this year.

This comes just months after the passing of another fan favorite, Nicholas Courtney, who portrayed the Brigadier. I am quite devastated by this news, as I’m sure most Doctor Who fans are, not the least of which because she was so young and we were still seeing her on our screens as the character many have loved for such a long time. We here at Nerdist offer our most sincere and deepest condolences to Ms. Sladen’s family and friends during this very sad time.

Feel free to use the comments to celebrate and remember Elisabeth Sladen and Sarah Jane.