You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Paddington Bear Creator Michael Bond Dies at 91

Author Michael Bond, the creator of Paddington Bear, has died. He was 91.

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

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. “He was a wonderful man and leaves behind one of the great literary legacies of our time.”

“A Bear Called Paddington” introduced Bond’s most famous creation in 1958. The character was inspired by a toy bear that Bond found left on a shelf in Selfridges department store and bought as a Christmas stocking filler for his wife.

The bear from Peru, in his trademark duffel coat and Wellington boots, went on to have many more adventures over the next 60 years, including his most recent outing, “Paddington’s Finest Hour,” which was published just two months ago.

Bond, who also wrote novels for adults, lived to see his furry creation make it big on the silver screen in Studiocanal’s 2014 hit “Paddington,” with actor Ben Whishaw voicing the title role. Last year, Studiocanal bought nearly all intellectual property rights worldwide to Paddington, except for publishing rights.

A sequel to the 2014 film is due out later this year. Studiocanal has promised a third Paddington movie.

Bond, who left school at 14, wrote more than 100 books during a long career that also included stints in the British military in World War II and as a cameraman for the BBC.

“I feel privileged to have been Michael Bond’s publisher,” said Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books. “He was a true gentleman, a bon viveur, the most entertaining company and the most enchanting of writers. He will be forever remembered for his creation of the iconic Paddington…which touched my own heart as a child and will live on in the hearts of future generations. My thoughts and love are with his wife, Sue, and his children, Karen and Anthony.”

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

  • Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton

    Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton to Head Programming

    Nexstar Media Group has become the nation’s largest owner of TV stations after completing its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal creates a broadcasting colossus with more than 200 stations serving more than 100 markets, although a number of stations will be divested to keep Nexstar in compliance with FCC ownership limits. Nexstar, [...]

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    Judge Sides With Michael Jackson Estate in 'Leaving Neverland' Dispute

    A federal judge is leaning towards granting the Michael Jackson estate’s move to take HBO to arbitration in its dispute over the documentary “Leaving Neverland.” Judge George Wu issued a tentative ruling on Thursday in which he denied HBO’s motion to dismiss the estate’s case. Wu is expected to make the ruling final by the [...]

  • Homecoming

    Peak Storytelling Here as Podcasts, Short Form Ride New Wave

    The concept of peak TV is nothing new. But scratch the surface of original content these days, and it’s no longer about television — from podcasts and short-form video, storytelling itself is at a peak. Thanks to audio, video and other new platform companies including Gimlet, Quibi, Wondery, iHeartMedia and Serial Box, listeners and viewers [...]

  • Patti Smith Cambridge Folk Festival

    Patti Smith Muses Over the Many Ways to Tell a Story

    It’s Sept. 11, and Patti Smith has been thinking a lot about people who died. This is understandable. It is, of course, the 18th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and an annual time of mourning for New York City, the city that Smith adopted as her hometown 50-plus years [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content