Jamie Anderson, Gerry Anderson's son, made the announcement via his website on Boxing Day. The statement said: "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." Adding that anyone wishing to make donations in his honour should do so to the Alzheimers Society, for whom, in his later years, he became an ambassador.
Best known and loved for Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet, Anderson pushed the limits of puppetry in television and cinema. Prior to the development of CGI and other effects, Anderson made sophisticated puppets and adapted them to the needs of the shows. Thunderbirds, which began as a TV programme, filmed in Slough and airing on ITV in 1965, turned into a feature film the following year, and a further film two years later. Despite the series' enormous success it originally only ran for two seasons. Since, though, it has had numerous reprieves, most recently in the 2004 live action film of the same name. Likewise, following the success of that movie, Captain Scarlet was also made again using CGI animation for ITV in 2005.
In the Gerry Anderson fan website obituary, they said: "Anderson's unique style of filmmaking influenced the imaginations and careers of countless creatives that succeeded him, and his productions continue to be shown around the world to new generations of fans." As well as inspiring other film makers, his work is also a part of many children's fondest childhood memories. Anderson had been suffering with mixed dementia for the past two years and leaves behind three children, and his widow Mary.