Vale: Sylvia Anderson


Sylvia Anderson, co-creator of Thunderbirds, has died aged 88.

She passed away after a short illness, her family confirmed.

Describing her as “a mother and a legend,” her daughter told the BBC: “Her intelligence was phenomenal but her creativity and tenacity unchallenged. She was a force in every way.”

The writer and producer was also the voice of iconic character Lady Penelope, and looked after character development and costume design. She also before voiced Penelope’s Great Aunt Sylvia, in the recent revival Thunderbirds Are Go!

She worked as a journalist before joining a TV production company where she met her husband Gerry Anderson. The couple then created the hit Thunderbirds, which began airing in the UK in 1965.

She also wrote Space: 1999, Fireball XL5, Joe 90, Captain Scarlet, Stingray, UFO, The Secret Service and Supercar and was head of programming for HBO in the UK.

“Sylvia Anderson is genuinely one of television’s legends,” Steven La Riviere, the man behind 2014 cinema documentary Filmed in Supermarionation, told

“Along with Gerry she was responsible for a whole slew of big-hitting series that continue to be enjoyed decades later. It’s a testament to how well made Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet were that successive generations of children embraced these series, with no real comprehension that these were shows of another time.

“Here on the Thunderbirds set, we’re very sad to say goodbye to her – but boy what a life she led. Co-creator of some of the most influential TV shows ever – and creator and voice of a character that can genuinely be called iconic, she really was FAB.”

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