Margaret Kerry signing autographs, September 2007
May 11, 1929
(m. 1951; div. 1984)
John H. Willcox
(m. 1987; died 1999)
Robert Boeke (m. 2020)
|Website||Margaret Kerry official website|
Margaret Kerry (born May 11, 1929) is an American actress and radio host, best known for her 1953 work as the model for Tinker Bell in the Walt Disney Pictures animated feature, Peter Pan.
Born as Peggy Lynch, in Los Angeles, California to John Riley and Mary Eleanor (Henderson) McCarty, she was quickly adopted. Her first role, at age 4, was as a fairy in the 1935 film A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Max Reinhardt. She worked under her real name as a dancer and actor in three of the Our Gang comedy shorts. She attracted the attention of Eddie Cantor, who cast her in the role of his teenage daughter in the film If You Knew Susie. Cantor thought Lynch needed a more theatrical-sounding name to be more noticeable as an actor, so she officially became Margaret Kerry. She graduated from high school with honors while working on the film and would later graduate cum laude from Los Angeles City College.
Still a teenager, Kerry played the role of "Sharon" in the first network sitcoms, The Ruggles, on ABC-TV. The show's farewell episode at the end of its three-year run featured Sharon's wedding and honeymoon. Kerry also appeared in two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, and a 1950 episode of The Lone Ranger. A voiceover performer with twenty-one dialects and forty-eight character voices, Kerry provided voices on 52 episodes of the groundbreaking children's television show, Clutch Cargo, including characters "Paddlefoot" and "Spinner". She provided numerous voices and live-action lead-ins for The New Three Stooges and Space Angel animated series for Cambria Productions.
Work with Disney
Kerry answered an audition call during the planning stages of the animated feature film Peter Pan. The audition, supervised by animator Marc Davis, required her to pantomime the motions that would be used as live-action reference for the animation of Tinker Bell. As Tinker Bell was to be non verbal, her movements would be integral, and Davis sought a dancer that could help embody the character. Kerry won the part and spent six months at the Disney Studios on a mostly empty sound stage pantomiming the part. The studios provided props, notably a giant keyhole mounted on a stand as well as a pair of giant scissors, used in the scene where Tinker Bell became trapped in a jewelry box. Kerry also provided the voice and reference movements of the red-haired mermaid in the Neverland lagoon scene.
From 1992-2004, Kerry was a producer, writer and host of What's Up Weekly - Ministry Loves Company on KKLA-FM Los Angeles, a Christian radio station. Also serving as the station's community services director, she headed an outreach program that connected to more than 200 non-profit service agencies. Kerry is a certified seminar leader by the American Seminar Leaders Association and co-author and facilitator of the FUNdamentals of Speaking Seminars. She continues to meet fans and attends many conventions, events and seminars throughout the country. As a supporter and contributor within the animation community, Kerry served as a board member of ASIFA-Hollywood for a number of years.
In 2016, Kerry published her autobiography Tinker Bell Talks: Tales of a Pixie Dusted Life (ISBN 978-1533500755) with stories and anecdotes from her life and career, and featuring 180 photos and pieces of art. In 2019, Kerry self-published a booklet They All Look Alike To Me with short stories detailing her having prosopagnosia, also known as "face blindness".
At the age of 90, Kerry reconnected after 70 years with former boyfriend, WWII veteran Robert Boeke, age 94. The two were married on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2020 in a ceremony at the Little Brown Church in the Valley in Studio City, California. Kerry suffers from prosopagnosia and has spoken and written about coping with it.
Awards and honors
On the occasion of her 90th birthday, Kerry was honored with certificates by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on behalf of the City of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles City Council; and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors via 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger. Kerry also received a card from the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, who noted Kerry's life as "an important part of the American story and the history of Cinema and Entertainment."  On February 15, 2020 Kerry was honored with the Disneyana Fan Club Legends award. On February 16, 2020, Kerry was presented with the Ward Kimball award by the board of Walt Disney's Carolwood Barn.
- A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) - Fairy (as Peggy Lynch)
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938) – (uncredited)
- If You Knew Susie (1948) – Marjorie Parker
- Canon City (1948) – Maxine Smith
- The Sickle or the Cross (1949) – Betty Deems
- Peter Pan (1953) – Tinker Bell (reference model, uncredited), Mermaid (voice, uncredited)
- Public Access (1993) – Marge
- Ghez, Didier (2010). Walt's People: Talking Disney With the Artists Who Knew Him. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-1450087476. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
- DAPs, Mr (May 11, 2019). "Happy 90th Birthday Margaret Kerry!". Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
- "Happy 90th Birthday: It's Margaret Kerry Day! – Animation Scoop". www.animationscoop.com. Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
- "Happy Birthday to Peggy Lynch". The Main Street Mouse. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
- RIDENOUR, AL (Feb 19, 2002). "Tinker Bell's Fairy Godmother". Retrieved Feb 6, 2019 – via LA Times.
- Sackett, Susan (1990). The Hollywood Reporter Book of Box Office Hits. Billboard Books. p. 104. ISBN 978-0823075492.
- Margaret Kerry on IMDb
- "Margaret Kerry reflects on modeling for Tinker Bell in Disney's "Peter Pan" - MediaMikes". 6 February 2013.
- "Tinker Bell Talks-Margaret Kerry to Speak at Monrovia Rotary |". monroviarotaryclub.com. Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
- "American Seminar Leaders Association - Members". www.speakersinternational.com. Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
- "Service clubs". Glendale News-Press. Dec 12, 2001. Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
- "TALK | Tales of Tinker Bell with Margaret Kerry". The Walt Disney Family Museum. Apr 29, 2018. Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
- Mikailian, Arin (5 August 2016). "Model for Disney's Tinker Bell shares her fairy tale in a new book" – via LA Times.
- Reese, Diana. "Tinker Bell Talks: What You Don't Know About Margaret Kerry".
- "Margaret Kerry was Disney's Tinker Bell". 17 January 2011.
- Kerry, Margaret (18 July 2016). "Tinker Bell Talks". CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform – via Amazon.
- Aronson, Michael. "Tinker Bell Talks! Tales of a Pixie Dusted Life".
- Rembulat, Vince (July 2, 2019). "THE 'REAL' TINKER BELL". Manteca Bulletin. Manteca, CA. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
- Nichols, Chris (January 16, 2020). "The Real-Life Tinker Bell Reconnected with a Lost Love at 90 and It's Wonderful". LAMag.com. Los Angeles, CA. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
- @RobertIger (14 February 2020). "Fairytales have nothing on a real-life love story like the one between Robert and Margaret, a WWII veteran and the model for #TinkerBell in the 1953 classic #PeterPan. Congratulations to the newlyweds from all of us at @Disney! #ValentinesDay" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @Observantview (14 February 2020). "We have a happy bride and groom! #Disney #wedding #tinkerbell" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Margaret Kerry, Model for Tinker Bell, Honored on Her 90th Birthday". May 25, 2019. Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
- [dead link]
- "An Afternoon with A Pixie: Honoring Margaret Kerry". November 10, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
- @Observantview (16 February 2020). "It was a pixie-dusted day out at @waltsbarn with so many friends & fans wishing newlyweds Miss Margaret (90) & Bob Boeke (94) well, and as she was presented with the Ward Kimball award! ❤️✨#Disney #history #tinkerbell" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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