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Elisabeth Sladen: Misc

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Coronation Street

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From Coronation Street Wiki

Anita Reynolds was an early role for the Liverpool born actress Elisabeth Sladen. Born 1st February 1948 she gained national fame in 1973 when she was cast as Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who. Elisabeth reprised the role of Sarah Jane in 2006 and has since taken the lead in The Sarah Jane Adventures


This article uses material from the "Elisabeth Sladen" article on the Coronation Street wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

Elisabeth Sladen
Role: Sarah Jane Smith
Date of Birth: 1 February 1948 (age 61)
Liverpool, England
Other names: Elizabeth Sladen
Notable Works: Doctor Who
The Sarah Jane Adventures
Z-Cars
Coronation Street
Silver Dream Racer
Peter Pan
Peak Pratice
This article is written from the Real World point of view. TARDIS
Elisabeth Sladen in a 1991 agency publicity photo.

Elisabeth Sladen (born 1st February 1948, Liverpool, England) played Sarah Jane Smith. She appeared as a regular on Doctor Who with both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, and also appeared in the pilot for the spin-off series, K-9 and Company. Most recently, she reprised her role as Sarah Jane both on Doctor Who and in its spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Contents

Early career

An only child, Sladen 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. She eventually turned to acting, and after finishing grammar school, attended drama school for two years.

Following this, she began work at the Liverpool Playhouse repertory company as an assistant stage manager. Her first stage appearance was as a corpse. However, she was scolded for giggling on stage, thanks to a young actor, Brian Miller, whispering the words, "Respiration nil, Aston Villa two" in her ear while he was playing the doctor. Sladen was so good as an ASM that she did not get many acting roles, a problem she solved by deliberately making mistakes on several occasions. This got her told off again, but she started to get more on-stage roles.

Sladen eventually moved into weekly repertory work, traveling around to various locations in England. Sladen and Miller, now married, moved to Manchester, spending three years there. She appeared in numerous roles, most notably as Desdemona in Othello, her first appearance as a leading lady. She also got the odd part on Leeds Radio and Granada Television, eventually appearing as a barmaid in six episodes of the long-running soap opera Coronation Street.

In 1972, Miller was appearing in a play that moved down to London, and they had to move along with it. Sladen found city life a bit of an adjustment, but eventually adapted. Her first television role in London was as a female terrorist in an episode of Doomwatch. This was followed by guest roles in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em and Z-Cars.

Doctor Who

In 1973, Katy Manning, who was playing the Third Doctor's assistant Jo Grant opposite Jon Pertwee, was leaving the series. Producer Barry Letts was growing increasingly desperate in his search for a replacement when Z-Cars producer Ron Craddock gave Sladen an enthusiastic recommendation. Sladen arrived at the audition not knowing it was for the new companion role and was amazed at Letts's thoroughness. She was introduced to Pertwee, whom she found intimidating at the time. As she chatted with Letts and Pertwee, each time she turned to look at one of them the other would signal a thumbs-up. She was offered and accepted the part of investigative journalist Sarah Jane Smith.

Sladen learned that Jon Pertwee was leaving as the Doctor in 1974. She continued to work with Tom Baker's Doctor until The Hand of Fear, which Sladen and Tom Baker co-wrote Sarah's departure scene themselves. She was sad to be leaving Doctor Who and cried on her last day on Doctor Who.

Sladen stayed on Doctor Who from the start of Season 11 to mid-way through Season 14. She worked with both Pertwee as the Third Doctor and Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor. She received both popular and critical acclaim for her role as Sarah. When she left the series in 1976, it made front page news, where previously only a change of Doctors had received such attention. The Hand of Fear was Sladen's last story. Bob Baker and Dave Martin intentionally left Sarah's departue scene unwritten. Tom Baker and Lis Sladen wrote Sarah's departure scene themselves.

In 1996, Jon Pertwee died and Sladen was very saddened and heartbroken when she learned the news of his death. Sladen cried for weeks after his death. In an interview, Sladen stated that Pertwee was her Doctor.

Later career

Sladen returned to Liverpool with her husband and did a series of plays. Notable appearances following that include a two-year stint as a presenter for the children's program Stepping Stones, a role as a stand-up comic's spouse in Take My Wife, and a small part in the movie Silver Dream Racer as a bank secretary in 1980, her only motion picture appearance to date. The new decade also marked her first appearance at a Doctor Who convention, Who 1 in March 1980, along with Ian Marter, who had played companion Harry Sullivan on the programme. In 1981, Letts cast her as the female lead in the BBC Classics production of Gulliver in Lilliput. She continued to appear in various advertisements and in another Letts production, Alice in Wonderland (in which she played the Dormouse), and attended Doctor Who conventions in the United States. After the birth of her daughter Sadie Miller in February 1985, Sladen went into semi-retirement, placing her family first, but still found time to appear occasionally on television.

Reprising Sarah

Until School Reunion, Sladen's last television appearance as Sarah was in the 1993 charity special Dimensions in Time. New Doctor Who Producer John Nathan-Turner had asked her to return to the series to ease the transition between Tom Baker and new Doctor Peter Davison. She declined the offer, but accepted his second offer of doing a pilot for a spin-off series called K-9 and Company, co-starring with K-9, the popular robot dog from Doctor Who. However, the pilot was not picked up for a series. Sladen would reprise the role of Sarah in 1983 for the 20th anniversary special The Five Doctors. In 1995 she played the role once again in the independent non-BBC film Downtime which was her last on-screen appearance as the character until 2006.

Sladen also portrayed Sarah in numerous audio dramas. Two of them were produced for BBC Radio: The Paradise of Death (1993), and The Ghosts of N-Space (1996), together with Pertwee as the Doctor and Nicholas Courtney as the Brigadier. In the early 2000s, Sladen reprised the role once again for a Big Finish Productions audio series, Sarah Jane Smith, set in the present day.

Sladen was one of several "original series" cast and crew who were interviewed for Project Who, a BBC Radio documentary on the revival of Doctor Who that aired in March 2005.

On 25th July 2005, the BBC confirmed that Sladen would indeed be appearing as Sarah Jane Smith in Series 2 of the revived Doctor Who. The BBC subsequently announced that John Leeson would also be returning as the voice of the robot dog K-9. The episode, School Reunion, served to finally cement the link between the revival and the original series. The postive response to Sladen's appearance led to the BBC commissioning another attempt at a Sarah Jane spinoff series, this time created by Russell T Davies. Invasion of the Bane (not technically a pilot, as the BBC had already agreed to a season), a special premiere episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures, aired on 1st January 2007 and was followed by a ten episode series later in the year. Series 2 aired in 2008, followed by Series 3 in the fall of 2009. A fourth series is anticipated.

Sladen also narrates a series of non-fiction behind-the-scenes audio releases from BBC Audio dubbed Doctor Who at the BBC.

In July 2008, Sladen returned to Doctor Who once more for the two finale episodes The Stolen Earth and Journey's End. Although she expects to stay with The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sladen, in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine in 2008 said she expected her appearance in the two-parter to be her final appearance on the parent program. Her prediction has proven incorrect, however, as she later made an appearance in DW: The End of Time, Part 2 and a two-part episode of Series 3 featured a guest appearance by David Tennant as the Doctor.

Photographs

External links

Wikipedia
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Elisabeth_Sladen. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the TARDIS Index File, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).
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This article uses material from the "Elisabeth Sladen" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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