John Barrowman, Stephen Fry and Mark Gatiss pay tribute to Doctor Who’s Elisabeth Sladen

Stars have started paying tributes to Doctor Who’ star Elisabeth Sladen, who passed away last night.

The 63-year-old actress died after a protracted battle with cancer, leaving behind husband Brian Miller and their 26-year-old daughter Sadie. The star shot to fame as assistant Sarah Jane Smith in the BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who from 1973 to 1976 alongside Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. She later went on to star in CBBC spinoff show The Sarah Jane Chronicles.

‘Doctor Who’ writer and creator of ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ spin-off show – which Elisabeth also starred in – Russell T Davies led the tributes, saying: “I absolutely loved Lis. She was funny and cheeky and clever and just simply wonderful.”

Meanwhile, actor John Barrowman – who co-starred alongside Elisabeth when she returned to ‘Doctor Who’ in 2006 – explained he is “proud” to have worked alongside “such an icon”.

Writing on his twitter page, he said: “Elisabeth Sladen Matriarch of Dr Who I loved my time on the Tardis with her I am proud to have worked with such an icon of the sci fi world. your Dr Who family are very sad and will miss you and your beautiful smile.

“She lived in my Flat in Cardiff when she was filming SJA she was a delight. Cant tell u how sad I am..(sic).”

Elsewhere, Stephen Fry paid his respects to the star, saying ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ were a part of his childhood.

He tweeted: “What terribly sad news about Elisabeth Sladen – her Sarah Jane was part of my childhood. Deepest sympathy to her family.(sic)”

‘Doctor Who’ writer Mark Gatiss added: “A tear, Sarah Jane?’ Farewell to the wonderful, irreplaceable Lis Sladen. The best.x(sic)”