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Thunderbirds Creator, Gerry Anderson, Dies

26 Dec 2012

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Thunderbirds was first broadcast in 1965


BBC

Gerry Anderson, creator of the Thunderbirds and Joe 90 puppet superhero TV shows, has died at the age of 83, his son has announced.

Anderson had been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease since early 2010, and his condition had worsened in the past six months, Jamie Anderson said.

Gerry Anderson also created Stingray and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, reports the BBC.

Thunderbirds was filmed on Slough Trading Estate in Berkshire and was first broadcast in 1965.

Jamie Anderson announced the news on his website, saying his father had died peacefully in his sleep at noon on Wednesday.

"Gerry was diagnosed with mixed dementia two years ago and his condition worsened quite dramatically over the past six months.

"Having already decided with his family on a care home for himself earlier this year, he moved in there in October," Jamie Anderson said.

Gerry Anderson spoke publicly about his disease in June 2012.

Speaking on BBC Berkshire he said: "I don't think I realised at all. It was my wife Mary who began to notice that I would do something quite daft like putting the kettle in the sink and waiting for it to boil."

He was a celebrity ambassador for The Alzheimer's Society.

His other creations included UFO, Space: 1999, Supercar and Fireball XL5.

Anderson, who lived in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, began his career studying fibrous plastering, but had to give it up when it gave him dermatitis.

Speaking in January 2011, Gerry Anderson said he felt "humbled" by his success

After a spell in photographic portrait work, a job in Gainsborough films and time spent in air traffic control, he set up AP Films with some friends.

Commissions were few however, so he responded eagerly to the opportunity to make a puppet series called The Adventures of Twizzle in 1956. It was eight years before Thunderbirds came into being on ITV.

Thunderbirds marked the career apex for Gerry and his wife Sylvia, who had honed their supermarionation technique on Fireball XL5 and Stingray.

The story revolves around International Rescue, a futuristic emergency service manned by the Tracy family, often assisted by Lady Penelope - voiced by Mrs Anderson - and her butler, Parker.

It inspired the catchphrase of "Thunderbirds are go!"

Tags: Entertainment, Featured, Thunderbirds

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