Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiographyby Elisabeth Sladen
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When Elisabeth Sladen first appeared as plucky journalist Sarah Jane Smith in the 1973 Doctor Who story The Time Warrior, little did she know the character would become one of the most enduring and fondly remembered of the series’ long history. The years that followed saw Elisabeth traverse time and space alongside classic Doctors Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, whilst a generation of children crouched behind the sofa, terrified but transfixed as their tea-time heroine found herself menaced by Daleks, dinosaurs, Cybermen, Egyptian mummies, actors in green Bubble Wrap and even the Loch Ness Monster. By the time she quit the TARDIS in 1976, making front-page news, Elisabeth had become one of the most familiar faces of a TV golden age.But you don’t just walk away from Doctor Who. Elisabeth was asked to reprise her role many times, appearing in anniversary specials, an ill-fated 1981 spin-off with robotic sidekick K-9, radio plays, and for the BBC’s Children in Need. She toured the weird, wide and wonderful world of Doctor Who fandom and became one of the series’ all-time favourite companions. So when TV wunderkind Russell T Davies approached her to come back again, this time to a show backed by multi-million-pound budgets and garlanded with critical plaudits, how could she refuse? This warm and witty autobiography, completed only months before Elisabeth died in April 2011, tells her remarkable story, from humble beginnings in post-war Liverpool, through an acclaimed theatrical career working alongside stage luminaries such as Alan Ayckbourn, to Coronation Street, Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em and the furthest reaches of the Universe. A unique insider’s view of the world’s longest-running science fiction series, and of British television yesterday and today, Elisabeth’s memoir is funny, ridiculous, insightful and entertaining and a fitting tribute to a woman who will be sadly missed by millions. Elisabeth Sladen played Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures. She also appeared in Coronation Street, Z-Cars and Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em among others, and enjoyed a long, successful and very happy career in the theatre. She died in April 2011.
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Meet the Author
When Elisabeth Sladen debuted as journalist Sarah Jane Smith in 1973 Doctor Who story ‘The Time Warrior’, she had no idea that the character would become one of the most popular in the series’ history.
When she quit the TARDIS in 1976, having traversed space and time alongside Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, the story was front page news.
But you don’t just walk away from the Doctor. Elisabeth reprised her role many times, and went on to tour the weird and wonderful world of Doctor Who fandom. So when TV wunderkind Russell T. Davies approached her to come back again, this time to a show backed by multi-million pound budgets and garlanded with critical plaudits, how could she refuse?
Completed only months before her death in April 2011, Elisabeth’s memoir is funny, ridiculous, insightful and entertaining, and a fitting tribute to a woman who will be sadly missed by millions.
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The foreword by David Tennant is beautiful and brought tears to my eyes; Lis Sladen is truly missed by so many. I've only read the first few chapters so far, but she was an amazing woman with an interesting life, and she did a wonderful job putting it down on paper. She also gives some great insights into her time on Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures. I'm sad she's gone from the world, but glad I get to know more about her time here. I'm excited to read more!
If you're a fan of Doctor Who, either the classic show or the splendid current revival on BBC, this is a must read. Like millions of fans, I fell in love with Elisabeth Sladen AKA Sarah Jane Smith back in the 70's. And then writing genius Russell T. Davies resurrected Sarah Jane for the new Doctor Who and the hit spinoff series The Sarah Jane adventures. A whole new generation of fans fell in love with Lis/Sarah Jane. Sadly, Elisabeth Sladen died in April 2011. For the sake of her fans however, husband Brian Miller and daughter Sadie consented to have her unfinished autobiography published. Thank you so much Brian and Sadie. The book is a marvellous read on many levels. It is a first rate insiders view of Doctor Who and classic Doctors Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. Not to mention a perspective on the new show and the workings of the BBC. But it is far more than that. It is the life story of a wonderful, witty, warm, kind and amazing woman who fleshed out an endearing and enduring fictional character. Lis' life is followed as she grows up in post war Liverpool and advances in her own special way thru theatre acting and finally into TV fame. It's an amazing story about the actor's profession too. Reading this one gets an appreciation of the trials and tribulations an actor must face. And we get a view of Britain's "golden age" of TV. Further, there is the unique view of Doctor Who fandom and accounts of the conventions and signings that Lis attended around the world. Lis Sladen is somewhat self-deprecating about herself. That's why it's so special that others complete the total picture for the fans. The forward by famed stage actor (and 10th Doctor) David Tennant is brilliant and touching. And the Afterward/Coda by Brian and Sadie Miller is heartbreaking but wonderful. Between the two you get a special perspective. You understand why Elisabeth Sladen was so loved and will be sorely missed. The book has a wonderful photo section taken mostly from Lis Sladen's personal collection. An audio book version of the autobiography is available. It is read by Lis' friend Caroline John (who played Dr. Liz Shaw in Doctor Who). And the forward is read by David Tennant himself.
Elisabeth Clara-Heath Sladen Miller was a beautiful woman who fought an ugly disease. Cancer takes so much and so many and it has now taken my childhood hero. I have read his many times over and find I can learn more each time I read this. It has been wonderful learning about my hero in this way. Miss Sladen makes up many childhood memories from me thinking aliens were real to my way of dealing with her untimely and unfair death: telling people that " She's not really dead. The Doctor saved her just in the nick of time." She will be greatly missed and no one will ever replace the place in my heart I have for her. No companion will ever be better than my Sarah Jane. She taught me many things through the Sarah Jane Adventures and Doctor Who such as "There's no such thing as only a girl your majesty" and "Eldrack must live!" Although maybe that last one isn't a great life lesson. Elisabeth Sladen you will always have a place in my heart. We miss you.
Let us all just take a moment to remember the late Elisabeth Sladen and the many hearts she touched as her character Sarah Jane Smith and the great woman that she was. Let it be known that she will not be forgotten.
Waits for Doctorwho nervously.
How did she die? I am a fan of Sarah Janes charachter but I am just hearing about this as Ive only been a Whovian for a year and a half. Id heard about it earlier but I assumed it was a cruel joke.
One of the most beloved actresses of all time- so sad that she is no longer with us.
It was horrible that she died she rocked in sarah jane
Hey, i was just wondering if i could join your rp, i am 14, girl (hair- short ,black, swooshy- like a dudes, blue-green eyes, pale skin, im 5'3", 130 lbs, and my name is dharma, you can call my sebastian if you want, i don't care) i rp as either me or female, i have rp'd as the 11th, ed from full metal alchemist , america -from hetalia,poland- from hetalia , england - from hetalia, france- from hetalia, ciel - from black butler, grell - from black butler, and sebastian - from black butler, i also rp as just myself, i do gay and lesbian rps and i am bi :)... also, i am very very sorry for LIs' death, she was a wonderful actress, i loved her character in Sarah Jane, she was so wonderful , it was truly heart wrenching for me when she died !