25 March 1927
|Occupation||Voice artist, producer, screenwriter, costume designer|
|Years active||1957 – present|
|Spouse||Gerry Anderson (m. 1962–1975)|
Though co-creator and co-writer of some of their productions through the 1960s, Sylvia's main contribution was the development of realistic characters that viewers could identify with and become involved with. She usually directed the bi-weekly voice recording sessions, and provided the voices of many female characters, most memorably Lady Penelope in the Thunderbirds television series and subsequent films. She and Gerry Anderson married in 1960 and were divorced in 1980 following a five year separation.
Following graduation from the London School of Economics, Sylvia Thamm joined Polytechnic Films as a secretary, where she met editor/director Gerry Anderson. When Anderson and his colleague Arthur Provis created AP Films following the collapse of Polytechnic in 1957, Sylvia joined them along with colleagues John Read and Reginald E. "Reg" Hill. She became Anderson's second wife shortly after, in 1960, and became more involved in production duties.
The creative partnership with Gerry Anderson concluded 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 severed her ties with the production company.
In 1994, Sylvia reprised her role as Lady Penelope on one episode of Absolutely Fabulous. Indeed, nowadays Sylvia is widely recognised as Lady Penelope's alter-ego in lieu of virtually any of her other achievements. Whilst Gerry Anderson has continued developing and producing since their separation Sylvia has, until recently, acted as the UK representative for HBO, scouting for new talent. Her autobiography Yes M'Lady was published in 1996, and republished as My FAB Years in 2007, with new material bringing it up to date with the latest development in her life, including her role as a consultant on Working Title's almost universally panned Thunderbirds (2004) movie. Speaking of the film, Anderson wrote, "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 released as a spoken-word CD in 2010, narrated by the author.
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