Six famous people who love teddy bears

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Six famous people who love teddy bears
Peter Bull. Image credit: YouTube screenshot

Famous people love teddy bears. Some of them are what we call arctophiles or people who love teddy bears and stuffed animals. Our friends from Picolleta have a great article showcasing six famous people who love teddy bears.

The article is a way to celebrate the upcoming Paddington Bear film. Paddington Bear is released in the UK on November 28. And to celebrate, here’s six famous arctophiles – people who love their teddies.

John Betjeman and Archie

Archibald Ormsby-Gore, or Archie for short, was a constant companion for John Betjeman. The poet laureate grew up with Archie by his side and took him to Oxford University, where they failed to get a degree.

The pair did, however, capture the attention of Evelyn Waugh, who used them as the basis for his character of Sebastian Flyte and his bear Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited.

Archie would join Betjeman for trips on the London Underground, to general bemusement. “Everyone’s staring at you Archie. Behave!” Betjeman would say. Betjeman is thought to have been holding Archie when he died.

Peter Bull

Character actor Peter Bull (1912-1984), who memorably appeared as the Soviet ambassador in Dr Strangelove, was for many years the figurehead of the teddy bear collecting movement.

He had a vast collection of teddies. They included a 1907-made bear named Delicatessen, who played the character of Aloysius in the 1981 TV adaptation of Brideshead Revisited – view here.

A 1969 TV appearance by Bull, in which he stressed the health benefits for adults of teddy bears, is thought to have increased the popularity of the bear collecting hobby.

Bull wrote Bear With Me, a book about teddies, in 1969.

Grayson Perry and Alan Measles

Perhaps “bear lover” is the wrong term. Because the 54-year-old holds just one bear close to his heart: Alan Measles. Alan has been a constant in Perry’s life since an early age. He helped Perry escape an unhappy childhood, fighting German soldiers in imaginary battles, among other pursuits.

The bear, who is the only remaining memento from Perry’s childhood, was a “surrogate father, rebel leader, fighter pilot and undefeated racing driver”, according to the artist.

Indeed, the now threadbare Alan Measles played such an important role in Perry’s life that the artist created several metal and ceramic versions of him for his 2011-2012 exhibition at the British Museum. The original remained safely at home with Perry.

Michael Bond and Paddington

“On Christmas Eve 1956, I bought a bear from Selfridges for my first wife Brenda as a Christmas stocking-filler,” writer Michael Bond told the Daily Mail.

“We called it Paddington because we lived near that railway station. Not long after, I sat at my typewriter and started writing a story about a real bear discovered at the station, and that became the first Paddington Bear book.”

Those books, about a Peruvian bear who arrives at London’s Paddington Station, have been delighting children and their parents since 1958. And the original bear? Bond and his ex-wife share custody of him.

Paul Greenwood and his Steiff collection

Hedge fund manager Paul Greenwood had the finest collection of Steiff bears – the Rolls-Royces of the stuffed bear scene – in the world. But he has them no more.

Because Greenwood was forced to sell his collection to pay legal fees. What had Greenwood done wrong? Defrauded investors of $554m. He was found guilty earlier this year.

The teddies auctioned for $1.8m – that’s a lot of bear, but the sale left Greenwood facing another problem. Who’s now going to keep him company in his prison cell late at night?

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson and Snowy

“Many years ago, driving down the Avenue Montaigne during Paris Fashion Week, I spotted him in the Dior shop window. ‘Turn the limo round,’ I shrieked. ‘I have to have him. The Eurostar can wait!” Tara Palmer-Tomkinson explained to the Daily Mail.

Always by the society girl’s side, Snowy travels in his own Hermes Birkin or Chanel Jumbo bag, and is said to even visit a stylist ahead of important functions.

You can also check out the original article here.

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