Gerry Anderson

Gerry Anderson

Born in England, Gerry Anderson grew up in a turbulent time in Europe, living through World War II with Jewish heritage. After serving in the Royal Air Force in the late 1940s, Anderson bounced around different productions before settling in and forming AP Films with Arthur Provis. The pair worked on the puppet-based children's shows "The Adventures of Twizzle" (ITV 1957-1958) and "Torchy the Battery Boy" (ITV 1958-1959). While working on those projects, Anderson started to develop what would eventually be known as the Supermarionation process for using puppets in productions. His first creation that used the technique was "Four Feather Falls" (ITV 1959-1960). Throughout the next few years, he created many other shows, such as "Fireball XL5" (ATV 1962-1963), the first of his shows to air in America. In 1965, "Thunderbirds" (ATV 1965-66) debuted and became a huge hit, spawning movies including "Thunderbirds Are GO" (1966) and "Thunderbirds 6" (1968). Throughout the 1970s, Anderson continued to create more shows, including the first live-action one "UFO" (ATV 1970-71) and "Space: 1999" (ATV 1975-77). As he entered his 50s, Anderson's prolific run of shows started to slow down, and despite some modest hits, such as "Terrahawks" (ITV 1983-86), he never reached the heights of "Thunderbirds," which eventually was turned into a live-action movie in 2004 that he strongly disliked. His last show was "Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet" (ITV 2005), which was the most expensive children's show ever made in England. The show disappointed, though, and Anderson, now nearing 80, removed himself from the public eye. In 2012, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and by the end of the year, he passed away in his sleep.