Gerry Anderson, creator of Thunderbirds, dies aged 83

Creator of Thunderbirds, Gerry Anderson Credit: Hugo Philpot/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Gerry Anderson, creator of the Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Joe 90 television 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 in a post on his website.

ITV News correspondent Damon Green reports:

He is survived by his wife and four children.

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.

Gerry Anderson, with three of his famed Thunderbird puppets Credit: Haydn West/PA Archive

"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."

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.

"People can always sing the (Thunderbirds) theme tune or start walking around like puppets," the chairman of the Gerry Anderson appreciation society Fanderson has said, discussing the impact of his idol's most celebrated work.

Nick Williams told ITV News that Anderson's celebrated shows had a huge influence on both the TV industry and his widespread audience, even inspiring several generations of aerospace engineers.