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Gerry Anderson with his Thunderbirds, (left-right) Alan, Scott and Virgil at Hamley's toy store in central London in 2000. Haydn West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson dies, aged 83

Anderson had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for nearly three years.

THE CREATOR OF the hit television series Thunderbirds, Gerry Anderson, has died.

The son of the 83-year-old, Jamie Anderson, has confirmed the news. Anderson had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease since early 2010 with his condition worsening in recent months.

“He died peacefully in his sleep at midday today, having suffered with mixed dementia for the past few years. He was 83,” Jamie Anderson wrote on his website.

Anderson was the creator of numerous puppet-based TV shows include Joe 90, Stingray, Captain Scarlet, and the Mysterons but will be remembered most for the Thunderbirds series, first broadcast in 1965.

With the pioneering supermarionation puppetry technique the story revolved around International Rescue, a futuristic emergency service manned by the Tracy family and headed by Jeff Tracy who, with his five sons, piloted the Thunderbird aircrafts.

They were often assisted by Lady Penelope – voiced by Gerry’s wife Sylvia Anderson – and her butler, Parker. It inspired the catchphrase of “Thunderbirds are go!”

YouTube: hamshow

Among Anderson’s other creations were UFO, Space: 1999, Supercar and Fireball XL5.

In recent years he had become a celebrity ambassador for The Alzheimer’s Society.

Here he is talking about his work on Thunderbirds and other programmes in the 1990s on British televsion:

YouTube: MrJim

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