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LONDON (Reuters) - British actress Elisabeth Sladen, who starred in the popular "Doctor Who" sci-fi series and the spin-off show "The Sarah Jane Adventures," has died aged 63, the BBC said on Tuesday.
According to the broadcaster, Sladen appeared as Doctor Who assistant Sarah Jane Smith in the BBC television series between 1973 and 1976 opposite Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.
More recently the actress appeared in four series of "The Sarah Jane Adventures" on children's channel CBBC.
Sladen had been battling cancer for some time.
"It is with much sadness that we can announce Elisabeth Sladen, the much-loved actress ..., passed away this morning," a BBC spokesman said.
CBBC controller Damian Kavanagh added that he was "deeply saddened and shocked by the news of Lis's untimely death.
"Lis brought joy, excitement and a sense of wonder to her many fans in her role as Sarah Jane Smith. She was adored by our young audience and I know all of them will miss her as much as I will," he said.
Sladen leaves actor husband Brian Miller and daughter Sadie.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White