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Michael Bond, the author of the books about much-adored children’s character Paddington Bear, has died. He was 91.
The news was announced Wednesday by his publisher Harper Collins: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Michael Bond, CBE, the creator of one Britain’s best-loved children’s characters, Paddington, died at home yesterday at 91 following a short illness.”
A Bear Called Paddington, Bond’s first book featuring the marmalade-loving, duffel coat-wearing Peruvian bear was published in 1958. His latest, Paddington’s Finest Hour, was published in April this year. So far, his books have been translated into 30 languages across 70 titles, with more than 30 million sold worldwide.
Paddington was featured in a BBC TV series in the 1970s and later in 1989 by Hanna-Barbera. But it wasn’t until 2014 that he got his first big-screen outing. The film, produced by Studiocanal and with Ben Whishaw voicing the bear, would become the highest-grossing non-studio family film, making more than $256 million. A sequel, starring Hugh Grant alongside returnees Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins, is in production and due for release in November.
Bond had a cameo role in the first Paddington, playing a character listed only as the “Kindly Gentleman.”
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