On NYE, Neil Gaiman backed by Amanda Palmer paid tribute to Gerry Anderson. Gerry Anderson (Nationality: English), Supermarionation pioneer, sci-fi icon, and creator of Thunderbirds, Stingray, Captain Scarlet and more, died in his sleep on December 26, 2012.
Supermarionation (a portmanteau of “super”, “marionette” and “animation”) is a puppetry technique devised in the 1960s by British production company AP Films. It was used extensively in the company’s numerous Gerry and Sylvia Anderson-produced action-adventure series, the most famous of which was Thunderbirds. The term was coined by Gerry Anderson, possibly in imitation of “Dynamation”, Ray Harryhausen’s stop motion technique (Wikipedia).
“Gerry Anderson made my childhood better,” echoed Sandman creator Neil Gaiman. “My favorite Thunderbird was 4, Gordon’s, because I could legitimately play with it in the bath.” 
Other personalities had this to say about Gerry’s passing:
Shaun Of The Dead and Scott Pilgrim director Edwar Wright commented, “Space 1999, Thunderbirds, Stingray, Captain Scarlett, Terrahawks, Joe 90, UFO. My whole childhood just died. Rest In peace, Gerry Anderson.” 
Geek commentator and TV personality Jonathan Ross added, “Sad news. For men of my age his work made childhood an incredible place to be.” 
“Sorry to hear about the death of Gerry Anderson, creator of great TV formats,” said author Paul Cornell, “with a hotline to the inside of children’s brains.
Gerry’s influenced a generation of creative writers and artists. His influence can even be felt in movies such as Team America: World Police, which used Supermarionation.