Michael Bond dead - Paddington creator dies aged 91

29 June, 2017, 18:48 | Author: Ruben Patrick
  • Michael Bond the creator of Paddington Bear has died at the age of 91

Michael Bond - the creator of the cuddly Paddington Bear that sparked a series of famous children's books - has died.

HarperCollins, Bond's longtime publisher, announced the author's death in a Facebook post.

He published his first book in 1958, A Bear Called Paddington, about a marmalade-loving bear from Peru who comes to live in London.

A big-screen film about the bear's first meeting with the Brown family was released in the same year, with a sequel now in production.

In 1975, the little bear made his first animated appearance as a stop-motion puppet in BBC's Paddington, produced by Bond and FilmFair - the series reran in the USA on several networks from the '70s to '90s. (In later books Paddington reveals his name back home was Pastuso.) The bear is usually seen in a red bucket hat and blue duffel coat, sometimes with Wellington boots, and often carrying a beat-up suitcase. In fact, Bond, who had been working for BBC radio in the 1950s, got the idea from a purchase he made out of sympathy for a plush toy. A second live-action Paddington film will hit U.S. theaters in early 2018. Bond said he found lacking by the time he and the Paddington books had gotten on in years.

The actor Hugh Bonneville, star of the Paddington movies, wrote on Instagram that it was "particularly poignant" that Bond had died on the last day of shooting for the upcoming film. But with the death yesterday at 91 of Michael Bond, they closed the book on one of publishing's greatest franchises. The bear arrived at London's Paddington train station wearing a sign saying "Please look after this bear".

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Born in Newbury, southern England, on January 13 1926, Bond served in both the Royal Air Force and the British Army during World War II.

The Paddington stories were adapted into a British television series in the late 1970s, as well as a 2014 film.

LIMBONG: Michael Bond wrote other books, too - the Olga da Polga series about a storytelling guinea pig, the Monsieur Pamplemousse books, his series about a food critic/detective for adults.

"I don't think a young reader could find a better companion in children's literature", Alley said, "than Paddington".

"He leaves a special legacy: long live the bear from darkest Peru", he said.

Bond is survived by his wife, Sue; children Karen and Anthony; and four grandchildren.

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