The FAB co-creator of Thunderbirds, Sylvia Anderson, dies, aged 88

Sylvia Anderson, who co-created Thunderbirds (opens in new tab) with ex-husband Gerry and voiced Lady Penelope, has died, aged 88.

A producer and writer, Ms Anderson created the Supermarionation puppet series with husband Gerry.

She died at her home in Bray, Buckinghamshire, following a short illness, her daughter Dee Anderson confirmed.

"Sylvia was a mother and a legend - her intelligence was phenomenal but her creativity and tenacity unchallenged," her daughter said. "She was a force in every way, and will be sadly missed."

Gerry Anderson died in 2012 aged 83.

As well as voicing Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds from its debut in 1965 until 1968, Sylvia also worked on Joe 90, Captain Scarlet and Stingray.

Born in south London to a boxing champion and a dressmaker, she went on to have a career in television spanning five decades.

She recently worked as head of programming for HBO in the UK and had been writing a show with her daughter entitled The Last Station, as well as having a cameo in last year's ITV series Thunderbirds Are Go (opens in new tab).

She is survived by her daughter, who is a singer-songwriter, son Gerry Anderson Junior, an anaesthetist, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Speaking last September, Mrs Anderson said she had had 'fun' playing a great aunt to her original character, voiced by Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike, in ITV reboot Thunderbirds Are Go.

Behind the camera, she took on many roles for Thunderbirds, including character development and costume design.

"I never waved the flag or anything about being a woman, but I was a woman with a group of men. Now and again I would get a director and I would go on set, one in particular, no names of course, and he was very, very huffy because I was a woman giving him notes on what he had shot the previous day, and I tried to do it very carefully," she said.

Watch an interview with Sylvia Anderson, below.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCTGCp1X-tY

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 


An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.