Today brings news of the sad deaths of two very talented people named Michael; the Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist and the children's author Michael Bond.
Nyqvist was 56 and had been suffering from lung cancer for a year. The actor made his name as police officer Banck in the 1997 series of Beck films on Swedish TV, and received his breakthrough film role in Lukas Moodysson's acclaimed Together in 2000. But he was perhaps best known for his role as Mikael Blomkvist in the original (and best) Swedish language film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and its subsequent sequels, and for his villainous turns in Hollywood blockbusters such as Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and John Wick.
Bond was 91 and died following a short illness at home yesterday. He published his first book, A Bear Called Paddington, in 1958 which introduced to the world the marmalade loving bear Paddington, from 'deepest, darkest Peru'. His inspiration for the character came from an impulse boy of a lonely looking teddy bear on a shelf in a shop window as a stocking filler for his wife and from his memories of seeing refugee Jewish children at train stations during the war. Several books (selling over 25 million worldwide) an evergreen TV series and a successful film adaptation continued Paddington's adventures and has gone on to touch and enchant generations of children.