Aloysius gained iconic status as the teddy bear clutched by effete Oxford student Sebastian Flyte in the 1981 television adaptation of the Evelyn Waugh classic “Brideshead Revisited.”
The original Aloysius had an intriguing, well-traveled life. Made in 1907 by the Ideal Toy Company in America, he was originally known as Delicatessen and had sat on display in Euphemia Ladd’s grocery store in Maine for over four decades. When she saw British actor Peter Bull waxing lyrical on the Johnny Carson show about his love of teddy bears, Ladd sent Bull her teddy.
Brideshead’s original director Derek Granger approached Peter Bull for a suitable bear and praised Aloysius’ professionalism: “He was never late on set, he never bumped into other actors and was never drunk”.
British actor Peter Bull [1912-1984] made his stage debut in 1933 at age 21, his film debut one year later (The Silent Voice) and his Broadway bow the next year. He was brought to Hollywood for a small role in Marie Antoinette (1938), which co-starred his lifelong friend and fellow Briton Robert Morley. In films, the corpulent Bull was often cast as unpleasant prosecuting attorneys, hard-hearted businessmen or officious government men (including the memorable camera-happy Russian ambassador de Sadasky in Dr. Strangelove). His career was put in abeyance for war service, during which he won the Distinguish Service Cross. Outside of his theatrical work, Bull was well known for his interest in astrology, and even better known for his fascination with teddy bears. He owned perhaps the world's largest and most valuable collection of teddies, and wrote several witty, informative books on the subject. Literary work Bull wrote the book on teddy bears Bear With Me in 1969. The collection The majority of Bull’s collection now resides at the Toy and Model Museum in London.