This is shocking.
|Elisabeth Sladen with David Tennant (via denofgeek)|
Years ago, doing one of those List-your-favorite memes, I did my twenty favorite actresses. Along with the likes of Helen Mirren, Emma Thompson, Myrna Loy, Mary Astor, Angela Basset, Sigourney Weaver, and Kate Winslet, I listed Elisabeth Sladen first among three actresses who starred in Doctor Who. She brought charm, intelligence, and grace to a challenging role. Challenging not, I think, because the role demanded so much, but rather so little, and yet she made Sarah Jane Smith a real character, a character we cared about.
Steven Moffat called her "a ferociously talented actress."
Russel T. Davies said, "She was funny and cheeky and clever and just simply wonderful. The universe was lucky to have Sarah Jane Smith, the world was lucky to have Lis."
Comments like these, by a fellow who worked security for her while she doing promotions, saluting her kindness and generosity of spirit, are everywhere.
Charlie Jane Anders at io9 has posted a sterling appreciation.
Mo Ryan has a reaction round up as well, with a bit more of Steven Moffat's comments.
I'm still updating this post as I see new remembrances of note. Everything above is from 4/19/2011.
4/20/2011 - Tom Baker has a lovely newsletter update fondly recalling his time with Ms. Sladen.
David Tennant: "I just can't believe that Lis is gone. She seemed invincible. The same woman who enchanted my childhood, enchanted my time on Doctor Who and enchanted generations who have watched her and fallen in love with her – just like I did. I feel very honoured to have shared a TARDIS with Sarah Jane Smith, and I feel very lucky to have shared some time with Lis Sladen. She was extraordinary."
Matt Smith: "What struck me about Lis was her grace. She welcomed me, educated me, and delighted me with her tales and adventures on Doctor Who. And she also seemed to have a quality of youth that not many people retain as they go through life. Her grace and kindness will stay with me because she had such qualities in abundance and shared them freely. I will miss her, as will the world of Doctor Who and all the Doctors that had the good pleasure to work with Lis Sladen and travel the universe with Sarah Jane."