While there was no reference to Jeff’s wife in the TV show or movies, obviously those five strapping sons had to come from somewhere! We have therefore gathered the information we could find about her and present it to you here.
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Here is a table of Canon Foundry facts about Jeff’s wife:
From the TV Series and Movies (Thunderbirds Are Go and Thunderbird 6):
There is no mention of Jeff’s wife in any episode of the series, or the films.
|The Canon Fact||The Source|
|There is no mention of Jeff’s wife in any episode of the series, or the films.||All episodes and films|
|The first time she is mentioned is when we read that Jeff’s ‘wife (unnamed) died prematurely (cause not given) leaving him to raise five sons’. (Virgil’s profile mentions that he takes after her in looks and coloring.)||(1966), Thunderbirds Annual. City Magazines Ltd. p. 10.|
|At the height of his career (Jeff’s) wife died, whilst giving birth to Alan, the youngest of his five sons.' (Wife not named)||de Klerk, Theo, “Thunderbirds All Series Guide,” Supermarionation is Go #10, Spring 1984.
Editor's Note: In correspondence with Theo de Klerk in 2013, I asked him what his source was for this childbirth thread. Theo told me that he had read this information in a Dutch TV magazine, explaining that between 1966-1969 the Dutch had a magazine called TV2000 which published stories drawn from both the TV21 and Lady Penelope comics published in England. In addition, it produced profiles of all the characters (called “Thunderbirds Codes” ) as well as having a page for readers' letters that were answered by 'Lady Penelope'. However when he went back to check these sources, he could only find one reference to Jeff's wife that stated that she 'died when the kids were young' which ties in with what we already knew from the 1966 Thunderbirds Annual . So he now thinks that when he came to write his Supermarionation Is Go article more than fifteen years later, he misremembered "died at early age of the kids" to died "after/at Alan's birth". So what has long been accepted as canon may be fanon created in error, if Theo's recollection is correct.
|Jeff's wife (unnamed) died “shortly after the birth of his fifth son Alan.”||Peel, John (1986), The Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds Files, Volume One: International Rescue . Psi Fi Movie Press, Inc. p. 53.|
|“Also docked at the island is Lucille, a luxury cruiser named after Jeff's late wife.”||Fennell, Alan, Editor, “”This is Tracy Island,” Thunderbirds The Comic , December 28 th 1991 – January 10 th 1992, Fleetway Editions, Ltd. p. 11.|
|“His wife, Lucille, died prematurely...”||Fennell, Alan, Editor, “”This is Tracy Island,” Thunderbirds The Comic , December 28 th 1991 – January 10 th 1992, Fleetway Editions, Ltd. p. 14.|
|Jeff's (unnamed) wife died “while she was giving birth to their youngest son, Alan.”||Marriott, John (1992), Thunderbirds Are Go! . Boxtree Limited. p. 16. Editor's Note: Marriott based his material on Theo de Klerk's Supermarionation Is Go article, so see notes above.|
|Wife, Lucille, died prematurely. Timeline shows her marriage taking place 1992.||(1992), The Official Thunderbirds Annual . Grandreams, Ltd./ITC Entertainment Group. p. 14. ISBN 0-86227-953-4. (The same biography of Jeff Tracy appeared in the 3 rd Ravette compilation book Thunderbirds – Danger Zone , also in 1992.)|
|Lucille (named as such – see notes below) dies in an avalanche when the boys are in their teens/early twenties.||Fennell, Alan, “Part 22 – Death in the Family,” Thunderbirds: The Comic #56, November 27 th – December 10 th , 1993, Fleetway Editions, Ltd., ITC Entertainment Group, Ltd. p. 13.|
|Was very musical (quote from Virgil Tracy's bio is "Like his mother, he is very musical...")||Peel, John (1988) Supermarionation: the Magical World of Gerry Anderson. "The Tracys: Virgil Tracy," Los Angeles, California; Schuster and Schuster|
|“Mrs. Tracy was a beautiful and sensitive creature, who gave up a promise career as a concert pianist to look after her husband and young boys, whom she adored.”||Olivier, Jenny (2001), Lady Penelope's Secrets . Carlton Books Limited. p. 84.|
|She died (cause not stated) when the boys were still young.||Olivier, Jenny (2001), Lady Penelope's Secrets . Carlton Books Limited. p. 79.|
|The 'Lucille' moniker first appeared in fan fiction in the 1980s. When Alan Fennell wrote his Thunderbirds origin story for the Thunderbirds comic in the 1990s, he seems to have been persuaded to use that name for Jeff's wife because it was already 'accepted' in fan circles, although it had no official foundation whatsoever. It's also worth pointing out that Alan Fennell's 1990s version of International Rescue's origin and development did not meet with Gerry's approval and he was not consulted about it, so I did not draw on that at all as a source when I wrote The Complete Book of Thunderbirds in 2000. At the time, I had a discussion with Gerry where he told me that he would never have given Jeff's wife a name like Lucille, although he declined to suggest an alternative.||Chris Bentley: post #4653 to Fanderson Yahoo forum (April 21, 2010) (quoted by kind permission of the author)|
|From Glo: I have been digging into my archives and found a letter from Sylvia Anderson from 1992 when I wrote to her for the answers to several questions before the FAB One convention I was helping to run. Her reply as follows: “We did not name Jeff's late wife but the back story is that she died in an unfortunate accident, which does account for Jeff's interest and involvement in International Rescue.”||Glo Thorogood: post #4658 to Fanderson Yahoo forum (April 22, 2010) (quoted by kind permission of the author)|
|“Alan was raised by his father, his elder brothers and his grandmother because his mother Louise (sic) had died giving birth to him. So he was spoilt rotten. He had a romantic arrangement with Tin Tin but also a crush on Lady Penelope. I think Sylvia had a soft spot for him.” Further clarification on this point in phone conversation with Pen Turner : Matt said he only read the name Lucille in one of the Thunderbirds books/magazines – the name was not something said to him by Sylvia in face-to-face conversation.||Matt Zimmerman interview at Fanderson convention, Bristol, October 2010.|
|Interviewed by Chris Bentley Matt stated that Alan’s mother had died giving birth to him. When Chris queried this, asking if Sylvia had told him this, he replied no; the only things Sylvia had told him was that Alan was the youngest and that he was spoilt.||Matt Zimmerman interview at Flights of Fantasy, Cosford, November 2012.|
|Profile on Jeff contains the information "Toen trof het noodlot hem. Zijn vrouw kwam vroegtijdig te overlijden en het grootbrengen van vijf stevige, gezonde zoons werd nu Jeff’s eerste taak.” ("Then misfortune hit. His wife died prematurely and raising five robust, healthy sons become Jeff’s first priority.")||Dutch Publication: Thunderbirds Extra 2 1966|
Plea from the editor: We would love to trace the first use of Lucille’s name. From the above it must have appeared in paper-based fanzines sometime between 1984 and 1991. If anyone can shed any light on this matter please contact us at email@example.com.