Gerry Anderson, the British creator of popular television
show "Thunderbirds," has died aged 83 after a long battle
with dementia, his son said on his blog.
"I'm very sad to announce the death of my father,
'Thunderbirds' creator Gerry Anderson. He died peacefully in
his sleep at midday today ... having suffered with mixed
dementia for the past few years," Anderson's son Jamie wrote.
The puppeteer started his television career in the 1950s,
creating a string of popular British shows including 1964's
"Stingray" and 1967's "Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons."
His company AP Films pioneered the "supermarionation"
puppetry technique with the fusion of marionette figures and
small-scale models to create live action-style shows.
Anderson's most notable production was 1965 series
"Thunderbirds," featuring marionette puppets, about a secret
organization that performs rescue missions using high-tech
tools and vehicles, with characters such as ex-astronaut Jeff
Tracy and agent Lady Penelope.
While the show only aired for two seasons on British
television, it became a cult favourite and was adapted for
the big screen, most recently in 2004 film "Thunderbirds,"
with the voices of Ben Kingsley and Bill Paxton.
Anderson is survived by his wife Mary and four children.