Elisabeth Sladen: Dr Who actress dies aged 63
Liverpool-born Sladen joined the BBC television series in 1973 as Doctor Who's assistant Sarah Jane Smith.
She went on to star in spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, four series of which have been broadcast on children's channel CBBC.
Sladen first starred as Sarah Jane opposite Jon Pertwee. The pair worked together for three seasons, before Pertwee left the show in 1974.
She then became the assistant for Tom Baker. When the show relaunched, she appeared alongside modern-day Doctor Who David Tennant.
Sladen had been suffering from cancer, the BBC confirmed. She leaves behind a husband, actor Brian Miller, and her daughter Sadie.
Russell T Davies, who created The Sarah Jane Adventures, said: "I absolutely loved Lis. 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." Doctor Who's lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat said: "'Never meet your heroes', wise people say. They weren't thinking of Lis Sladen.
"Sarah Jane Smith was everybody's hero when I was younger, and as brave and funny and brilliant as people only ever are in stories. Source