Gerry Anderson, the creator of hit TV shows including Thunderbirds, Stingray, Supercar, Fireball XL5, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and Joe 90, has died at the age of 83.
Thunderbirds, a science-fiction fantasy about a daring rescue squad, ran from 1965 and was his most famous show, even spawning a live action feature motion picture in 2004. His son Jamie relates that his father had suffered from Alzheimer’s since 2010 and the disease had worsened in recent months. Gerry Anderson died peacefully in his sleep at noon last Wednesday.
He also created the popular shows UFO and Space: 1999. Actor Brian Blessed, who worked with Anderson, told BBC News: “I think a light has gone out in the universe. He had a great sense of humour. He wasn’t childish but child-like and he had a tremendous love of the universe and astronomy and scientists. He got their latest theories, which he would expand on. He was always galvanised and full of energy.”
Anderson had set up AP Films with some friends in the early 50’s, and jumped at the chance to make a puppet series called The Adventures of Twizzle in 1956. Thunderbirds didn’t happen on ITV until nine years later. The show marked the career apex for Gerry and his wife Sylvia, who had honed their “supermarionation” technique on Fireball XL5 and Stingray.
Thanks for the memories, Gerry – and the inspiration to generations of fans.
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