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Thunderbirds are go as Scott Tracy actor Shane Rimmer launches autobiography
AN actor from Potters Bar best known as the voice of Scott Tracy in Thunderbirds is releasing his autobiography this weekend.
Canadian-born performer Shane Rimmer has featured in more than 50 films, acting alongside such Hollywood heavyweights as James Caan, Sidney Poiter, Harrison Ford, Robert Redford and Meryl Streep.
The local celebrity, born in 1929 in Toronto, moved to England in the late Fifties and settled in the Potters Bar area around 16 years ago.
He is perhaps best remembered for providing the voice of one the main characters in Gerry Anderson's famous puppet show.
His new autobiography From Thunderbirds to Pterodactyls, which has a foreword by the creator of the seminal Sixties show, is being launched this Saturday at Fanderson, a Gerry Anderson convention in Bristol.
Discussing the lasting success of Thunderbirds, Mr Rimmer said: “I think there's a charm about it. I think its innocent in a way, more innocent than we've got now. We have three grandchildren and sometimes I'm horror stricken at what they're watching on the television.
“They weren't symmetrical, the heads were always bigger than the body. You were always looking at a puppet, there was no mistake at what you were looking at.
“I think the characters were good, I think they came out of an American Western series called Bonanza - this rancher had three or four sons I think, and it's slightly patterned on that. But it was a good idea that covered all the bases.
“Gerry is a great ideas man. I mean Thunderbirds was a great name, absolutely great.”
As well as a successful television career, Mr Rimmer enjoyed a string of parts in major feature films, including three James Bond movies with Roger Moore and Sean Connery.
Mr Rimmer said: “The first one I did was You Only Live Twice, then it was Diamonds Are Forever. I had about two lines and stepped out of a lift, and there's Connery standing about three feet away and I tell you, it freezes you. He had an incredible presence."
After a long and varied career, Mr Rimmer was forced to “slow down” when he suffered a minor heart attack, that eventually led to a bypass. This became the inspiration for him to look back over his past and begin writing his memoirs.
Asked what someone might expect from his book, Mr Rimmer said: “I thought it would be interesting to write from the point of a supporting actor, not the star level.
“Four years ago I started gathering things together, and I did find it interesting because once you open up one can, you open another you'd completely forgotten about.
“And there's no ghost writer. It's all mine, for better or worse.”
From Thunderbirds to Pterodactyls is published on Saturday and will also be available in libraries across Hertfordshire.