English television and film producer, writer and voice actress, Sylvia Anderson was born in South London, England on 27 March 1927. Anderson Graduated from the London School of Economics with a degree in economics and sociology, after which she became a social worker. She emigrated to the United States to live with her first husband, an American golfer and While in America, she worked as a journalist. Upon returning to the United Kingdom with her daughter, Dee she joined the newly founded and short-lived Polytechnic Films as a secretary in 1957. It was here that she met future husband Gerry Anderson, who was working as an editor and director at that time. In 1957 Anderson and Arthur Provis created AP Films following Polytechnic’s collapse, Sylvia Anderson joined them on the board of directors of the new company, alongside their colleagues John Read and Reg Hill. In 1960, the couple married, after which she played a wider role in production duties. Gerry Anderson and AP Films went on to create many popular and enduring classic television shows such as Fireball XL5, Joe 90,Stingray, Captain Scarlet and Thinderbirds using a technique dubbed Supermarionation. In addition to serving as co-creator and co- on their TV series during the 1960s and early 1970s, Anderson’s primary contribution was character development and costume design. She regularly directed the bi-weekly voice recording sessions, and provided the voices of many female and child characters, in particular Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds.
Unfortunately the The Andersons’ creative partnership ended when their marriage broke down during the production of the first series of Space: 1999 in 1975. Gerry announced his intention to separate on the evening of the wrap party, following which Sylvia ceased her involvement with the company, which by this time had twice been renamed and was now called Group Three. The Andersons divorced at the start of the 1980s, following a 5-year separation. In 1983, she published a novel titled Love and Hisses and in 1994, she reprised her voice role as Lady Penelope for an episode of Absolutely Fabulous. She also worked as a London-based talent scout for HBO for 30 years.
Her autobiography Yes M’Lady was first published in 1991; in 2007, it was re-published as My FAB Years with new material to bring it up to date with the latest developments in her life, such as her role as a production consultant for the 2004 live-action film adaptation of Thunderbirds. Of the film, Anderson commented, “I’m personally thrilled that the production team have paid us the great compliment of bringing to life our original concept for the big screen. If we had made it ourselves (and we have had over 30 years to do it!) we could not have improved on this new version. It is a great tribute to the original creative team who inspired the movie all those years ago. It was a personal thrill for me to see my characters come to life on the big screen. My FAB Years was re-released as a spoken CD, narrated by Anderson, in 2010.
In 2013, Anderson worked with her daughter Dee, a jazz singer, on a concept for a new TV series named “The Last Station”. They set up a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for followers to contribute and be a part of the series. In 2015, Anderson traveled to Italy to receive a Pulcinella Award in recognition of her career in television production. Anderson was also known for her charity work, particularly in support of Breast Cancer Care and Barnardo’s. Tragically Anderson sadly died 15 March 2016 at age 88, following a short illness. However She is fondly remembered for her prolific television work