Thunderbirds show co-creator Sylvia Anderson dies at 88

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Group portrait of the cast of marionette actors from the television science fiction series, 'Thunderbirds,' circa 1965. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

LONDON — Sylvia Anderson, the co-creator of the cult classic science fiction TV puppet show “Thunderbirds,” has died at 88.

Publicist Richard Leon said the writer and producer died Wednesday at her home in Bray, 30 miles west of London, after a short illness.

She created the series about a high-tech rescue squad operating from a secret island with her late former husband Gerry Anderson, who died in 2012. The show made its debut in 1965. Sylvia Anderson also voiced and provided inspiration for the upper-crust character Lady Penelope — who like all the other characters in the series was a marionette.

She had a long career in television, including working for HBO in Britain.

She is survived by her daughter Dee Anderson, son Gerry Anderson Jr, four grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.