Deborah Watling, the English actress who played Doctor Who’s assistant Victoria Waterford in the 1960s, has died after a short battle with lung cancer. She was 69. She had been diagnosed with the illness six weeks ago.

On Doctor Who, Watling starred alongside Patrick Troughton, who played the second Doctor, in 40 episodes from 1967-68. She also appeared in classic serials such as The Tomb of the Cyberman and The Ice Warriors. Much of her work on the sci-fi drama didn’t survive due to the BBC’s erasure policy during the decade. In 2013, the BBC resurrected serials The Web of Fear and The Enemy of the World after they were discovered in Nigeria.

Watling’s father was actor Jack Watling, who appeared alongside her in two Doctor Who episodes.

Born in Essex, UK, in 1948, Watling made her first appearance on television as a child in William Tell. She then went on to appear in a TV version of HG Wells’ The Invisible Man for ITV before joining Doctor Who when she was just 19d.

After that, she appeared in The Newcomers, Rising Damp and World War II drama Danger UXB.

Earlier this week, BBC announced that Jodie Whittaker would be the first female Doctor after Peter Capaldi steps down from the role at Christmas.