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20 Popular Secrets Revealed About Elisabeth Sladen

1. Elisabeth Clara Heath-Sladen was an English actress best known for her role as Sarah Jane Smith in the British television series Doctor Who.

2. She was a regular cast member from 1973 to 1976, alongside both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, and reprised the role many times in subsequent decades, both on Doctor Who and its spin-offs, K-9 and Company and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

3. Sladen was interested in ballet and theatre from childhood, and began to appear on stage in the mid-1960s, although more often as a stage manager at this time.

4. She stayed as a regular cast member alongside Pertwee and Baker until 1976.

5. She subsequently starred in other roles on both television and radio, before semi-retiring to bring up a family in the mid-1980s.

6. She returned to the public eye in the 2000s with more Doctor Who related appearances, which culminated in taking a regular lead role in The Sarah Jane Adventures.

7. She also made regular guest appearances on the main television series, and provided voice-over commentaries for its releases to DVD.

8. Her death made national and international news headlines, and major television stations and newspapers paid her tribute.

9. Sladen was the only child of Tom Sladen, who fought in the First World War and served in the Home Guard during the Second World War, and Gladys .

10. She developed an interest in performing at an early age, beginning dance lessons when she was five, and dancing in one production with the Royal Ballet.

11. She was a primary school contemporary of future politician Edwina Currie, appearing in at least one school production with her.

12. She went on to secondary school and attended Aigburth Vale High School for Girls.

13. In 1965, she made her first film appearance in Ferry Cross the Mersey as an uncredited extra.

14. Sladen eventually moved into weekly repertory work, travelling to various locations in Britain.

15. Sladen and Miller moved to Manchester, in 1966, spending three years there.

16. She also got the occasional part on Radio Leeds and Granada Television, eventually appearing as barmaid Anita Reynolds in 1970 in six episodes of the long-running soap opera Coronation Street.

17. In 1969 she and her husband appeared in the play How the Other Half Loves; when in the autumn of 1970 the play moved to London, the couple also moved there.

18. Her first television role in London was in a two-part story of Z-Cars.

19. She was introduced to Pertwee, whom she found intimidating at the time.

20. As she chatted with Letts and Pertwee, each time she turned to look at one of them the other would signal a thumbs-up.

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