Jeff Tracy

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Jeff Tracy
Thunderbirds character
First appearance "Trapped in the Sky"
(30 September 1965)
Last appearance Thunderbirds (2004 film)
Created by Gerry Anderson
Portrayed by Bill Paxton (2004 film)
Voiced by Peter Dyneley (1965-1966, 1968)
Gender Male
Occupation Colonel
Head of International Rescue
Family Grant Tracy (father; name debatable[1])
"Grandma" Tracy (mother)
Spouse(s) Lucille "Lucy" Tracy
(2039-March 2044, deceased; name debatable[2])
Children Scott Tracy (son, with Lucille)
John Tracy (son, with Lucille)
Virgil Tracy (son, with Lucille)
Gordon Tracy (son, with Lucille)
Alan Tracy (son, with Lucille)

Jeff Tracy is a fictional character from Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's Supermarionation television show Thunderbirds and the subsequent films Thunderbirds Are GO and Thunderbird 6. The voice for the character in these shows was supplied by Peter Dyneley. The character also appeared in the live-action movie Thunderbirds. In the latter he was played by actor Bill Paxton.


The series was first broadcast in 1965 and was set a hundred years in the then future, in 2065, when Jeff was (or will be) 56. According to his backstory "bio", Jeff was born 2 January 2009,[3] the son of a combine harvester driver on a Kansas wheat farm.

  • Military service in the U.S. Air Force achieving rank of colonel
  • Transfer to Space Agency to become an early lunar astronaut[4]
  • Jeff married[2] and became the father of five sons; Scott, John, Virgil, Gordon and Alan born in rapid succession in the period 2039-2044. The sons were named after five of the first six American astronauts into space via Project Mercury: Scott Carpenter, Virgil Grissom, Alan Shepard, Gordon Cooper and John Glenn.[5][6]
  • His wife died possibly in a non-canonical 1993 comic strip, in which she and Jeff's father, Grant Tracy, died in an avalanche,[1] while a novel published in 2008 had her pass away as a result of a road accident, where her vehicle fell off the side of a cliff.[7]
  • Jeff raised his five sons, while building up a civil engineering, construction and aerospace business that made him one of the richest men in the world.
  • He became a philanthropist and instigated and financed International Rescue

As the Tracy family patriarch, he spends most of his time on Tracy Island, situated somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, from where he co-ordinates rescue missions.

It has been suggested that the Tracy family are based on the Cartwrights from the TV series Bonanza, and that the Jeff Tracy puppet is based on the actor who played Ben Cartwright, Lorne Greene.[3]

Along with his sons, Scott and Virgil, Jeff is the only other Tracy to appear in all 32 episodes of Thunderbirds.

Absence from Remake Series (2015)[edit]

In the 2015 'reboot' of the series, Jeff vanished over the Mariana Trench (it is unknown whether he is still alive or deceased) some time ago in a plane accident involving the 'first Thunderbird' named "TV21",[8] for which the Hood has claimed responsibility.[9] Scott appears to have assumed control of International Rescue in his father's place as he is the oldest of the Tracy brothers, while Grandma Tracy, who has herself changed from the classic series, has taken over his role as head of the family.


  1. ^ a b The Complete Thunderbirds Story Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine. says Jeff's wife, Lucille, and his father, Grant, both died in an avalanche at their Aspen holiday home. The lack of rescue equipment supposedly inspired Jeff to form International Rescue. However the narrative has several deviations from canon, e.g. how Jeff Tracy first met Kyrano, Tin-Tin, and The Hood.
  2. ^ a b The Calling International Rescue! fan site names his wife as Lucille, Lucy for short, but this is not an official site
  3. ^ a b Retrieved 19 December 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  4. ^ "Thunderbirds Annual," p.10, 1966, City Magazines Ltd. and A.P. Films (Merchandising) Ltd.
  5. ^ "Thunderbirds - The Characters". Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  6. ^ "Mercury Crewed Flights Summary". Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived 6 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Thunderbirds Are Go! Season 2 Episode 6 "Up From the Depths - Part 1"
  9. ^ Thunderbirds Are Go! Season 1 Episode 2 "Ring of Fire, Part 2"

External links[edit]