Michael Bond, the creator of beloved children’s character Paddington Bear, has died at the age of 91.
He died at his home on Tuesday following a short illness, a statement from his publisher Harper Collins said.
Bond published his first book, A Bear Called Paddington, in 1958.
The character, a marmalade-loving bear from “deepest, darkest Peru” who comes to live in London, went on to inspire a series of books, an animated TV series and a successful 2014 film.
As well as Paddington, he also created characters including Olga da Polga, A Mouse Called Thursday and a French detective named Monsieur Pamplemousse.
A sequel to the Paddington film will be released later this year.
“So sorry to hear that Michael Bond has departed,” Stephen Fry wrote on Twitter. “He was as kindly, dignified, charming and lovable as the immortal Paddington Bear he gave us.”
Comedian and author David Walliams also paid tribute, remembering the author as “a dazzling wit and perfect gentleman”.