‘Doctor Who’ star Tom Baker joins Elisabeth Sladen tributes

Former co-star had no idea the actor was ill

Doctor Who actor Tom Baker has joined the tributes to actor Elisabeth Sladen, who died yesterday (April 19).

Sladen’s character Sarah-Jane Smith accompanied Baker‘s Doctor for two-and-a-half years during the 1970s, making them both icons of the long-running show.

Today, Baker joined the tributes to the late star on his official site Tom-Baker.co.uk: He said: “She can’t be dead. But she is, she died yesterday morning. Cancer. I had no idea she was ill; she was so private, never wanted any fuss, and now, gone.”

Baker continued: “A terrible blow to her friends and a shattering blow for all those fans of the programme whose lives were touched every Saturday evening by her lovely heroic character.”

Sladen had already appeared in one season with Jon Pertwee before Baker took on the role

Lis Sladen was very important to me, you know,” he said. “When I joined the little world of Doctor Who, Lis was already a star. She had an enormous success with Jon Pertwee. She was good pals with The Brigadier, our beloved Nicholas Courtney; she knew all the regular directors.

“She was adored by Barry Letts, the producer who cast her in the role. She always said she was Barry‘s girl. It was for that reason she decided to leave the show. But it was not necessary at all. The fans adored her, Philip Hinchcliffe our new and glamorous producer adored her, so did David Maloney, her favourite director.”