The television series’ created by Gerry Anderson have inspired the dedicated following of countless fans around the world. Although the series were produced in Britain, their popularity has spread far and wide, crossing countries, oceans and many languages. So it may not be surprising to discover that in the midst of legions of viewers, the series’ have attracted the attention of quite a few famous Gerry Anderson fans.
How many of these famous Gerry Anderson fans can you identify? The answers are provided under each image if you’re stuck!
Sean Connery as Scott Tracy
Known throughout the world as the man who first brought James Bond 007 to the silver screen, Sean Connery reportedly loved Thunderbirds and was extremely flattered to discover that the pilot of Thunderbird 1, Scott Tracy, was based on him.
Christopher Nolan as Gordon Tracy
Acclaimed director of The Dark Knight Trilogy, Nolan cites Gerry Anderson productions as one of his main influences when growing up and starting out in the industry. He even gave Shane Rimmer (voice of Scott Tracy) a role in Batman Begins!
Simon Cowell as Virgil Tracy
Known for his role as a judge in many British talent shows, Simon Cowell was a fan of Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet when he was growing up. A photo of Cowell wearing a Captain Scarlet costume as a child was featured in the Daily Mail.
Cliff Richard as John Tracy
Known to Thunderbirds fans for his appearance (in puppet form with The Shadows) in the 1966 feature film Thunderbirds Are Go (but known to everyone else as a massively successful singer and musician), Cliff Richard was a huge fan of Thunderbirds even before performing for the film, according to an interview with Kindred Productions.
Jonathan Ross as Alan Tracy
Film critic and television presenter Jonathan Ross, known for his chat shows on British television, shared fond memories on a number of BBC TV and radio shows in the days after Gerry’s death in 2012.
Chris Evans as Brains
Television and radio presenter Chris Evans, owner of the number plate “FAB1”, is huge Anderphile who created the FAB1 Million campaign for Breast Cancer Care, raising money and awareness for the campaign while driving a customized Rolls-Royce from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
George Lucas as Jeff Tracy
Creator of Star Wars, Lucas used Thunderbirds as the stylistic inspiration for the look and feel of the characters in the Star Wars Clone Wars series. The design of the Millennium Falcon spacecraft was originally felt to be too visually similar to the Eagle Transporter from Space: 1999 and it was subsequently designed from scratch with the original version being adapted to represent another craft.
Eddie Izzard as Lady Penelope
Stand-up comedian, actor and writer Eddie Izzard was a huge fan as a child, and is constantly trying to work out ways to create a “real” Thunderbirds rescue organisation – no small task we’re sure you’ll agree, how many famous Gerry Anderson fans have the same ambition?
Nick Park as Parker
The creator of popular stop motion animated duo Wallace and Gromit, Nick Park is a longtime fan of Gerry’s work, giving several nods to Thunderbirds (in particular, the iconic and memorable vehicle launch sequences) in Wallace and Gromit.
Tom Hanks as Colonel Steve Zodiac
American actor and filmmaker, Tom Hanks has appeared in films as diverse as Big, Cast Away and the Toy Story series (which features a nod to Four Feather Falls in the guise of vintage television series Woody’s Roundup). Hanks has used clips of Fireball XL5 in his movie That Thing You Do, and was quoted as saying how much he enjoyed Gerry’s shows.
Frank Skinner as Lieutenant Phones
Writer, actor and comedian Frank Skinner is known for his role as television and radio host. He regularly parodies aspects of Gerry’s work and is well known as a fan.
John Lasseter as Professor Matthew Matic
The Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios, John Lasseter has been the executive producer of countless acclaimed animated feature films and also happens to be a Thunderbirds super-fan!
Johnny Depp as Captain Troy Tempest
Having played a wide variety of larger-than-life characters in his career, Johnny Depp is one of the best known actors in the world. In 2007, he met Gerry Anderson at the renowned Pinewood Studios, were Gerry worked for many years.
Gene Roddenberry as Commander Sam Shore
Creator of Star Trek, Roddenberry was impressed by Gerry’s attention to detail and once shared part of a bottle of Scotch with him at Pinewood Studios. Gerry was equally complimentary, expressing his admiration for Gene’s efforts on Star Trek.
Bill Bailey as The Hood
Actor and comedian Bill Bailey is perhaps best known for playing Manny Bianco in Black Books, his appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Have I Got News For You and for his extensive stand-up work, in which he often quotes Gerry Anderson references.
J. Michael Straczynski as Titan
Screenwriter, television producer and director, J. Michael Straczynski is the creator of Babylon 5 and is no stranger to science fiction. He is a fan of Thunderbirds and other Anderson productions.
John Barrowman as Captain Scarlet
Known for his extensive theatrical work and portrayal of Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who and Torchwood, John Barrowman is quoted on Twitter as having thanked Gerry for introducing him to science fiction. Barrowman also presented a behind-the-scenes report about Space Precinct during a segment of Live and Kicking in the mid 1990s.
Mark Gatiss as Captain Magenta
Actor, comedian and screenwriter Mark Gatiss has written for and appeared in both Doctor Who and Sherlock. He recently asked to be a Mysteron in the upcoming Big Finish Spectrum Files releases, but since we assume Mysterons are invisible, we made him Captain Magenta in our famous Gerry Anderson fans image instead…
Edgar Wright as Captain Black
Director, producer and actor Edgar Wright is best known for directing Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. He has previously spoken in interviews about the potential for Gerry Anderson live action movies – including a Terrahawks film!
Mick Jagger as Captain Blue
In 1978 when Sylvia Anderson met with the Rolling Stones to discuss their appearance in a film she was helping set up, all of them, especially Mick Jagger, were much more interested in asking questions about International Rescue and Lady Penelope than talking about the movie.
James Cameron as Colonel White
The director behind such hit films as The Terminator and Titanic, James Cameron was such a fan of Gerry’s series that he gave a nod to the Kingfisher helicopter in UFO by using a very similar design for the gunships in Avatar.
David Baddiel as Captain Ochre
Comedian, novelist and screenwriter, David Baddiel recently wrote an episode of Thunderbirds Are Go! featuring a return of the classic FAB 1 and an appearance by Lady Penelope’s Great Aunt Sylvia (voiced by Sylvia Anderson). Baddiel previously tweeted that he had always hoped Gerry was indestructible.
Chris Barrie as Captain Grey
Actor, impressionist and comedian Chris Barrie is best known to sci-fi fans for his portrayal of Arnold Rimmer in Red Dwarf. Barrie and his Red Dwarf co-stars met Scott Tracy at BritSciFi in 2013 and they started doing impressions and posing for Supermarionation selfies. Barrie even offered Scott a biscuit!
Eamonn Holmes as Captain Brown
Eamonn Holmes, known for his role as presenter of GMTV and later This Morning has said that Thunderbirds was a huge part of his childhood, and still loves the show today.
Neil Gaiman as Jeremiah Tuttle (Agent 47)
Author and screenwriter Neil Gaiman has written novels such as Stardust, The Graveyard Book and The Sandman comic book series. A fan of Gerry’s work, Gaiman even sang the Fireball XL5 theme tune in tribute to Gerry at his wife’s New Year’s Eve party.
Peter Jackson as Commander Norman
Director, producer and screenwriter Peter Jackson is best known as the director, writer and producer of both the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy. Jackson was keen to remake Thunderbirds as a series or movie and became a Gerry Anderson fan after seeing Supercar in the 1960s. He has his own small Gerry Anderson museum (how many famous Gerry Anderson fans can say that?) and cites Thunderbirds as being his first ever influence!
Shane Richie as Ed Straker
Actor, presenter and singer Shane Richie is no stranger to soap opera fans and is best known for playing Alfie Moon in Eastenders. A well known Anderphile, who first mentioned his fondness for Gerry’s work in an interview with Sky TV. We’d like to see him in a remake of UFO!
Jeremy Clarkson as Moonbase Operative
Broadcaster, journalist and writer, co-presenter of Top Gear and later The Grand Tour. Clarkson is reportedly a fan of Gerry’s shows, and in one of the later episodes of Top Gear, he appeared with co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond in a parody of the Thunderbirds launch sequence.
Richard McCourt as Roger & Dominic Wood as Joe 90
British comedy double act better known as “Dick and Dom”, presenters of Dick and Dom in da Bunglaow. Both are ambassadors for the Alzheimer’s Society and have expressed their fondness for the classic Anderson shows.
Brian Cox as Commander John Koenig
Physicist and Professor of particle physics, Brian Cox says that he preferred Space:1999 to Star Trek. Recently posed with Parker at the aforementioned FAB1 Million photo shoot and has also introduced a recent broadcast of Gerry’s sci-fi drama pilot episode The Day After Tomorrow.
Danny John-Jules as Captain Peter Carlin & Robert Llewellyn as Dick Spanner
Danny John-Jules and Robert Llewellyn are know for their roles in Red Dwarf, playing The Cat and the service mechanoid Kryton respectively. Along with their Red Dwarf co-star, Chris Barrie, they met Scott Tracy at BritSciFi in 2013 and started doing impressions and posing for Supermarionation selfies.
Nicholas Briggs as Light-Fingered Fred
Co-creator of Big Finish Productions and known for a wide variety of work on Doctor Who, Nicholas Briggs is a long time Gerry Anderson fan and he met with Gerry on a couple of occasions. The two hoped to collaborate to bring classic Gerry Anderson properties to Big Finish. With a third series of Terrahawks on the way and the 50th Anniversary Captain Scarlet releases due later in the year, it looks like a mission accomplished!
Sanjeev Bhaskar as Gallup Din
This is a rather special one. Actor, writer and director Sanjeev Bhaskar was the basis for Thunderbirds 1965 character Gallup Din. Sanjeev has been a fan of Gerry Anderson shows like Thunderbirds and UFO since he was a child, so to become immortalised as a marionette member of International Rescue was a real thrill for him! He is in fact, the only one on our list who has made it ‘into’ the show he’s a fan of!
Did we miss anyone from our list? How many other famous Gerry Anderson fans do you know?
Let us know in the comments section!