Anderson had suffered from Alzheimer’s since 2010 and died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday.
He also created Stingray, Joe 90, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Supercar, Fireball XL5, UFO and Space: 1999.
But it was Thunderbirds, which ran from 1964–1966 that was his most famous show. The story revolved around International Rescue, a futuristic emergency service manned by the Tracy family, often assisted by Lady Penelope – voiced by Mrs Anderson – and her butler, Parker.
It included the catchphrases “Thunderbirds are go!” and “FAB”.
After a spell in photographic portrait work, a job in Gainsborough films and time spent in air traffic control, he set up AP Films with some friends.
Commissions were few, however, so he responded eagerly to the opportunity to make a puppet series called The Adventures of Twizzle in 1956. It was nine years before Thunderbirds came into being on ITV. The voices were recorded first, and when the puppets were filmed, the electric signal from the taped dialogue was hooked up to sensors in the puppets’ heads.
The success of Thunderbirds led to two feature films and a toy and merchandise empire.
He re-made Captain Scarlet in 2003, but was not involved when Thunderbirds was transformed into a live-action Hollywood movie in 2004.
Nick Williams, chairman of Fanderson, the Gerry Anderson appreciation society, described him as “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,” he said.
“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.”