Deborah Watling Dies; Doctor Who Actress Was 69

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Beloved Doctor Who actress, Deborah Watling, passed away today after a short battle with lung cancer. 

She was 69 years old. 

Deborah Watling DR WHO

Her brother Giles Watling confirmed the news, saying she would be "sorely missed."

"She was a lovely, lovely girl, bubbly and vibrant," he said of his sibling.

Watling played Victoria Waterford -- one of Patrick Troughton's companions in the early years of Doctor Who.

She appeared in over 40 episodes between 1967 and 1968. 

Deborah Watling

Born in Loughton in Essex in 1948, Watling made her first TV appearance as a child in 1959 in William Tell.

Post-Doctor Who, she moved on to roles in The Newcomers, Danger UXB, and the Jim Davidson. 

However, Watling did not leave the iconic BBC drama behind and returned in 1993 for Doctor Who: Dimensions In Time

Unfortunately, most of the episodes of Doctor Who she appeared in were wiped after transmission.

Deborah Watling Smiles

Recent reports have suggested that some of the lost episodes may be found after some overseas broadcasters are said to still have them. 

It's crazy to think that episodes can just disappear like that, but back then, delayed viewing was not a thing, and people sat down to watch TV as it aired. 

Watling remained a huge fan of Doctor Who after she departed and attended conventions for the show as much as she could. 

Fans took to Twitter to pay their respects to the talented actress. 

"I was lucky enough to meet Deborah Watling last year! Such a kind a loving lady who made time for everyone," wrote one Doctor Who fan on Twitter.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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