Popular character dies

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 20:49 18/08/2014

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Long-running TV soap Shortland Street has killed off one of its characters tonight – sending a tidal wave of indignation through social media.

Dr Sarah Potts (played by Amanda Billing) died from a disease spreading through the hospital, her suddenly updated Wikipedia entry reads.

The popular character had been on Shortland Street since September 2004.

According to the entry she arrived as the love interest for Craig (Renator Bartolomei) but then her role developed when it was revealed her young brother Daniel (Jarred Blakiston) was her illegitimate son.

In 2008 the character was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

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South Pacific Films tonight set up a Facebook page, R.I.P Sarah Potts.

Although it suggests people leave a tribute, so far the comments have suggested only which other soap stars might want to leave.

On Twitter Shortland Street has quickly moved into the trending world, although Billings' remained silent.

The Wikipedia entry says Billing, once a history teacher, previously auditioned for the roles of lesbian nurse Maia Jeffries and the ill-fated Avril Luchich before she was offered the role of Sarah in early 2004.

The character was described as "a good looking, vivacious and driven woman in her early 30s" and was "liked, easy-going and good-humoured".

Sarah was written off the show in late 2010 when Billing took a four-month break to star in a play.

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In keeping with the show’s style, there were complicated twists and turns in her romantic life during her time on the show.

Wikipedia says the character has been highly praised, winning best female character in the Throng Shortland Street Fan Awards 2006.

However, in the same awards she also won "Character you'd most like to kill off" and "Most boring storyline". Billing received a nomination for best actress at the 2007 Air New Zealand Screen awards.

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