Maurice Sendak has passed away at the age of 83. Longtime friend and caretaker Lynn Caponera said that the author and illustrator of children's book "Where the Wild Things Are" died Tuesday, May 8 at a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut after suffering a stroke on Friday, May 4. As soon as news of his passing broke out, condolences poured in from many Hollywood stars.
Among those paying tribute to Sendak was Tom Hanks, who co-produced the 2009 film adaptation of "Wild Things". In a statement to MTV News, the 55-year-old actor described the late author as "the fabulously cranky old man, the maker of the Wild Rumpus, who delighted in scaring the kids on the block."
Saying that the kids "loved him" for scaring them, Hanks added, "I think a late supper is awaiting him and it is still hot." The "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" actor also took to Twitter to post, "Maurice Sendak helped raise my kids - all 4 of them heard 'The night Max wore his wolf suit...' many times."
Other stars using their Twitter to mourn the loss included Elijah Wood, Paramore's Hayley Williams and director Jon Favreau. Wood tweeted, "Maurice Sendak has left us for the land of the wild things. May he carry on adventuring," Williams wrote, "Huge part of my childhood. Rest in peace," and Favreau posted, "Our childhoods slipped a little further away today."
Comedian Stephen Colbert, meanwhile, praised Sendak as someone who "was strikingly honest." In his statement, the host of "The Colbert Report" continued, "His art gave us a fantastical but unromanticized reminder of what childhood truly felt like. We are all honored to have been briefly invited into his world."
Director/actor Kevin Smith shared similar feelings about Sendak. "This was a guy who did everything untraditionaly," he said. "He knew kids were into thrilling and scary. He was like John Hughes. He had a way of talking to kids that respected them and whose message was to celebrate our differences. He said, 'There's nothing wrong with being different. Go ahead and be ourselves.' "
Maurice Bernard Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 10, 1928 to Polish Jewish immigrant parents. He first did illustration for 1951's book "The Wonderful Farm" before writing his first book, 1956's "Kenny's Window". In 1970, he received the international Hans Christian Andersen medal for illustration, and in 1983, he won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association.