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Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson dies
4:51pm Wednesday 26th December 2012 in News
Gerry Anderson, creator of the Thunderbirds and Joe 90 puppet superhero TV shows, has died, his son announced today.
Mr Anderson was 83 and had been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease since early 2010.
His condition had deteriorated in the past six months and he died peacefully in his sleep today, Jamie Anderson said.
''I'm very sad to announce the death of my father, Thunderbirds creator, Gerry Anderson,'' Mr Anderson wrote on his website.
''He died peacefully in his sleep at midday today having suffered with mixed dementia for the past few years.''
Mr Anderson also created the hit TV shows Captain Scarlet and Stingray.
He is survived by his wife and four children.
Having been diagnosed with mixed dementia at the age of 81, he and his son Jamie became active supporters of Alzheimer's Society, recently taking part in the Society's flagship fundraiser Memory Walk.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at Alzheimer's Society, said: ''Gerry Anderson has been an outstanding supporter of Alzheimer's Society and campaigner on behalf of people with dementia.
''He was determined, despite his own recent diagnosis, to spend the last year of his life speaking out for others living with dementia to ensure their voices were heard and their lives improved.
''With the support of his family, Gerry tirelessly attended events around the country to raise awareness of the condition and to raise funds for a cure.
''The last time I saw Gerry was at the start of our annual Memory Walk in September where he was our guest of honour and star starter alongside Carey Mulligan.
''Gerry, accompanied and supported by his son Jamie, stayed to speak to the crowds, wave off the walkers and shake hands with the many friends and fans who had come to meet him.
''Gerry Anderson will be missed not only by the worldwide fans of his TV shows, but by all of us at Alzheimer's Society who he has inspired to continue in our work to ultimately defeat dementia.
''Our sincere condolences go out to his wife Mary, son Jamie and all the Anderson family.''
Mr Anderson began his television career in the 1950s and established himself as one of Britain's leading creative brains over a career spanning nearly six decades.
Among his creations were the characters Lady Penelope, Brains and Joe 90.
Nick Williams, chairman of Fanderson, the Gerry Anderson appreciation society, paid tribute to him.
He said: ''To those who met him, Gerry was a quiet, unassuming but determined man.
''His desire to make the best films he could drove him and his talented teams to innovate, take risks, and do everything necessary to produce quite inspirational works.
''Gerry's legacy is that he inspired so many people and continues to bring so much joy to so many millions of people around the world.''
As well as Jamie, Mr Anderson leaves children Joy, Linda, Gerry Junior and his widow Mary.