Laura Ruth Sadler
25 December 1980
|Died||19 June 2003 (aged 22)|
|Cause of death||Accidental fall|
Sadler was born in Ascot, Berkshire, and took up television acting as a young girl. She was spotted as a future talent at the age of 6 by Dustin Hoffman, who had seen her in a play. After the play had finished Hoffman asked to meet the young actress. Before joining the cast of Holby City, her best-known role had been as the character Judi Jeffreys in the children's television series Grange Hill from 1997 to 1999. In a tragic coincidence, her Grange Hill character was killed after slipping and falling out of a burning building, paralleling her real life death 4 years later. Laura also then played the part of Skirty Marm in a new BBC1 children's comedy, Belfry Witches. Skirty Marm and her friend Old Noshie (Lucy Davis) were teenage witches banished to earth from Witch Island; settling in a sleepy village where they caused mischief.
In 1996 she starred in the feature movie Intimate Relations alongside Julie Walters, where she played a Lolita-like girl with a crush on her mother's adulterous lover. She joined the cast of Holby City, a spin-off series from the long-running BBC medical drama series Casualty, in the show's third series.
In the early hours of 15 June 2003, she fell 40 feet (12 metres) from the balcony of the Holland Park flat of her boyfriend and Holby City co-star George Calil after having taken alcohol and cocaine. She suffered severe head injuries, and never regained consciousness. Her family decided to remove her from life support on 18 June 2003 and she died at Charing Cross Hospital a day later.
Her boyfriend, Calil, then aged 30, who played her character's drug-dealing boyfriend Sean Hunt in Holby City, was arrested for questioning before being released on bail. On 26 June police announced that the death was being treated as accidental and no further action would be taken.
Laura continued to feature in pre-recorded episodes of Holby City after her death. Laura's mother took part in writing her daughter's character Sandy out of Holby City; in the episode, which was broadcast in September 2003, her character won the lottery and subsequently emigrated to Australia.