Gerry Anderson, creator of the beloved 1960s Thunderbirds series, has died at the age of 83. Anderson pioneered the use of marionettes in film, dubbed "supermarionation," and created the cult fave Thunderbirds series in the mid-'60s with his wife Sylvia.
Anderson's son Jamie announced his passing in a blog post today:
"I'm very sad to announce the death of my father, Thunderbirds creator, Gerry Anderson. He died peacefully in his sleep at midday today (26th December 2013), having suffered with mixed dementia for the past few years. He was 83."
In addition to Thunderbirds, Anderson also helped launch the sci-fi classics Space: 1999 and Captain Scarlet. He even wrote a treatment for a James Bond film in the late 1960s, though it was eventually axed for 1971's Diamonds Are Forever.
Anderson suffered from Alzheimer's disease in the later years of his life, and his family is encouraging fans to donate to the Alzheimer's Society in honor of the legendary producer.
As news of his passing broke online, fans took to Twitter to express their condolences:
I doubt very much that I'd be writing SF if it wasn't for Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90 and the rest.— Alastair Reynolds (@AquilaRift) December 26, 2012
Sorry to hear about the death of Gerry Anderson, creator of great TV formats, with a hotline to the inside of children's brains.— Paul_Cornell (@Paul_Cornell) December 26, 2012
Gerry Anderson, creator of Space:1999 and Thunderbirds has passed away. RIP Gerry Anderson and thank you SO much for your brilliance— Colleen Bement (@NerdAlertNews) December 26, 2012
What's your favorite memory from Anderson's work?
(Via Jamie Anderson)