Very sad news, Gerry Anderson has passed away. As reported by his son Jamie, Anderson died of natural causes December 26. Gerry had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2010 and moved into an assisted living care facility in October, 2012.
The creator and producer of such classic television series as Supercar, Thunderball XL-5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, UFO and Space: 1999, Anderson leaves a legacy of thought provoking entertainment for all ages. Most recently he consulted with the producers of an upcoming cinematic remake of UFO, and was active in awareness and fundraising for Alzheimer’s research.
The second time I met Gerry Anderson was in 2006 at the Sector 25 Convention near London. I was there promoting the book I had written with Mike Trim, one of the model makers and designers on Thunderbirds. I told Gerry about the book and thanked him for creating the series, as well as UFO, Space: 1999 and the rest of the Supermarionation TV shows. I told him how much they’d meant to me when I was young, and how happy I was to have even a small part in celebrating them through my work on the book. He looked at me for a moment, then thanked me in return. “For what?”, I asked. He’d seen I was very serious in my praise. “For not having me on,” he replied.
So many years later, he was still wary that the shows had been made on very tight budgets for kids, and that all the strings were visible on the puppets. I hope that in the end, he stopped worrying about the strings and saw what we, the fans saw – the care and love that he and his team put into the shows.
Rest in Peace, Gerry. Thanks for the wonderful hours of excitement and entertainment.