Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Paddington bear author Michael Bond dies aged 91

Paddington bear author Michael Bond dies aged 91

Michael Bond, the creator of the hugely popular children's character Paddington Bear, has died at the age of 91.

Bond's publisher, HarperCollins, said in a statement Wednesday that Bond died at home the previous day after a short illness.

British children's book author Michael Bond stands with stuffed animal toys of his characters Paddington Bear and J.D. Polson the Armadillo, June 27, 1981.

The 53-year-old stars alongside Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Ben Whishaw, who voices the famous bear, in the sequel, which catches up with Paddington now happily ensconced in life with the Browns in Windsor gardens, when he finds himself on the trail of a book thief.

Bond's books have been enjoyed by generations of children, with more than 35 million sold, the publisher said.

The official Paddington Twitter account posted a tribute to the late author, which was also retweeted by the official London Paddington Twitter page.

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"I was happy reading, so in that sense I wasn't lonely", Bond once told The Sunday Telegraph of his childhood.

He told Press Association: "What's nice about the film is the fact that all the cast are in it because they like Paddington, they've all been brought up with Paddington and there was a very nice atmosphere on set".

"Michael Bond was one of the great children's writers, and at HarperCollins we are immensely fortunate to have published him and to have known him", HarperCollins CEO Charlie Redmayne said.

In addition to Paddington, Bond created a host of characters including Monsieur Pamplemousse, the French detective, and a book of tales based on the adventures of Olga da Polga, a guinea-pig.

Stephen Fry wrote, "So sorry to hear that Michael Bond has departed. My thoughts and love are with his wife, Sue and his children Karen and Anthony". "He was as kindly, dignified, charming & lovable as the immortal Paddington Bear he gave us". "He was a wonderful man and leaves behind one of the great literary legacies of our time".

Bond said a sense of vulnerability "was an important part of Paddington's persona" and a reason why children were drawn to him.

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