It's with a very heavy heart that I report that Elisabeth Sladen, best known for portraying on of The Doctor's best known companions, Sarah Jane Smith, has passed on. The details are a bit sketchy, as breaking news sadly is sometimes. It's thought that Ms. Sladen died due to complications from her ongoing fight with cancer. Her passing was confirmed by the Official Doctor Who Magazine's twitter.
With great sadness, DWM must report the loss of our beloved SarahJane, actress Elisabeth Sladen. The best of best friends. Too, too sad.
Elisabeth Sladen first appeared as Sarah Jane Smith, as a companion of the Third Doctor, in 1973 and stayed on until 1976, during the tenure of the Fourth Doctor. Her character's popularity was so large that it made national news in the UK when she left the series. Ms. Sladen returned as Sarah Jane in the K-9 & Company pilot, and various audio plays over the years. With the advent of the newer Doctor Who series, Sarah Jane returned, and has enjoyed newfound popularity, resulting in the long running Sarah Jane Adventures series for CBBC.
We here at BSR will certainly miss her, when you watch the new series of Doctor Who this weekend, raise a glass in her honor.
UPDATE: The BBC news service has confirmed this. They don't have additional details, but cancer is again mentioned. A sad day, indeed.