British filmmaker Gerry Anderson has passed away at the age of 83.
Anderson was the creator of such iconic genre series as Thunderbirds, UFO and Space: 1999.
His death followed a diagnosis two years ago of dementia, according to an announcement on the Web site of his son Jamie.
As a filmmaker in the 1950s, Mr. Anderson dreamed of directing sweeping dramas, but he would make his name working in miniature. “Supermarionation,” he called it, merging the words super, marionette and animation to describe this new puppetry for the television age.
Other Supermarionation series created by Mr. Anderson included Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Stingray, Supercar and Fireball XL5.
Anderson also began working with live actors and aiming at more adult audiences, but science fiction remained the theme. In 1970 he produced U.F.O., about a special security force that fought space aliens. In 1975, he produced Space: 1999. That series, which starred Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, described the adventures of the 300 or so inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, who had been cast into space by an explosion of Earth’s nuclear waste stored on the Moon.