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Margaret Kerry

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Margaret Kerry
Margaret Kerry at Galaxycon in Richmond, Virginia in 2022
Peggy Lynch

(1929-05-11) May 11, 1929 (age 95)
  • Actress
  • voice artist
  • radio producer, director and host
  • media personality
Years active1933–1953, 1993, 2020
Dick Brown
(m. 1951; div. 1984)
John H. Willcox
(m. 1987; died 1999)
Robert Boeke
(m. 2020)
WebsiteMargaret Kerry official website

Margaret Kerry (née Lynch; born May 11, 1929)[1][2][3] is an American screen actress, dancer, voice artist, camera double, radio producer, director and host and media personality, best known for her work as a model for Walt Disney Pictures, where she served as the inspiration and pantomimed the Peter Pan character of Tinker Bell.[4]

Early life

Kerry in 2013
Kerry in 2019

Born as Peggy Lynch, in Springfield, Illinois, she was adopted at three years old and moved to Los Angeles.[5] Her first role was as a fairy in the 1935 film A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Max Reinhardt.[6] She worked under her real name as a dancer and actor in three of the Our Gang comedy shorts.[7]

Kerry served as a camera double for Elizabeth Taylor in film National Velvet at MGM.[8][9] 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.[1] She graduated from high school with honors while working on the film and would later graduate cum laude from Los Angeles City College.



Television work/voice artistry


Kerry as a teenager played the role of "Sharon" in the first network sitcom, 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 in 1950 as 'Jane Carter' in The Squire episode of The Lone Ranger.[10] 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.[10]

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.[1] 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.[4] Kerry also provided the voice and reference movements of the red-haired mermaid in the Neverland lagoon scene.[11]



Kerry was a producer, writer and host of What's Up Weekly - Ministry Loves Company on KKLA-FM, Los Angeles, from 1992 and 2004, 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.[12] Kerry is a certified seminar leader by the American Seminar Leaders Association and co-author and facilitator of the FUNdamentals of Speaking Seminars.[13][14] She continues to meet fans and attends many conventions, events and seminars throughout the country.[15] As a supporter and contributor within the animation community, Kerry served as a board member of ASIFA-Hollywood for a number of years.[3]



Kerry published her autobiography in 2016 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.[16][17][18][19][20] 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".[21]

Personal life


Kerry has been married 3 times. She was married to Dick Brown from 1951 to 1984 and John Wilcox from 1987 to his death in 1999. [22] She reconnected after 70 years with former boyfriend, WWII veteran Robert Boeke, age 94.[23] 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.[24][25] Kerry suffers from prosopagnosia and has spoken and written about coping with it.[21]

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.[26] 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."[27] On February 15, 2020, Kerry was honored with the Disneyana Fan Club Legends award.[28] On February 16, 2020, Kerry was presented with the Ward Kimball award by the board of Walt Disney's Carolwood Barn.[29] In 2023, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company, Kerry's original Tinker Bell ballet slippers were put on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, commemorating her portrayal of the fairy character.[30][31]

Partial filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1935 A Midsummer Night's Dream Fairy as Peggy Lynch
Teacher's Beau Student Short film
1936 The Pinch Singer Call-in voter Short film
1938 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Schoolgirl Uncredited
Aladdin's Lantern Tap Dancer Uncredited
1948 If You Knew Susie Marjorie Parker
Canon City Maxine Smith
1949 The Sickle or the Cross Betty Deems
1953 Peter Pan Mermaid voice, uncredited
1993 Public Access Marge
2020 Before There Were Rings Nana Short film


  1. ^ a b c Ghez, Didier (2010). Walt's People: Talking Disney With the Artists Who Knew Him. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-1450087476. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  2. ^ DAPs, Mr (May 11, 2019). "Happy 90th Birthday Margaret Kerry!". Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Happy 90th Birthday: It's Margaret Kerry Day! – Animation Scoop". www.animationscoop.com. Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Happy Birthday to Peggy Lynch". The Main Street Mouse. 11 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  5. ^ "Kerry, Margaret". National World War II Museum. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  6. ^ RIDENOUR, AL (Feb 19, 2002). "Tinker Bell's Fairy Godmother". Retrieved Feb 6, 2019 – via LA Times.
  7. ^ Sackett, Susan (1990). The Hollywood Reporter Book of Box Office Hits. Billboard Books. p. 104. ISBN 978-0823075492.
  8. ^ Kelley, Kitty (1981). Elizabeth Taylor: The Last Star. Simon & Schuster. p. 448. ISBN 978-0671255435.
  9. ^ "Elizabeth Taylor: A Fierce Love". Hollywood Icons. September 4, 2021. Channel 5 (UK).
  10. ^ a b Margaret Kerry at IMDb
  11. ^ "Margaret Kerry reflects on modeling for Tinker Bell in Disney's "Peter Pan" - MediaMikes". 6 February 2013.
  12. ^ "Tinker Bell Talks-Margaret Kerry to Speak at Monrovia Rotary |". monroviarotaryclub.com. Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
  13. ^ "American Seminar Leaders Association - Members". www.speakersinternational.com. Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
  14. ^ "Service clubs". Glendale News-Press. Dec 12, 2001. Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
  15. ^ "TALK | Tales of Tinker Bell with Margaret Kerry". The Walt Disney Family Museum. Apr 29, 2018. Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
  16. ^ Mikailian, Arin (5 August 2016). "Model for Disney's Tinker Bell shares her fairy tale in a new book" – via LA Times.
  17. ^ Reese, Diana (8 December 2016). "Tinker Bell Talks: What You Don't Know About Margaret Kerry".
  18. ^ "Margaret Kerry was Disney's Tinker Bell". 17 January 2011.
  19. ^ Kerry, Margaret (18 July 2016). Tinker Bell Talks. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1533500755.
  20. ^ Aronson, Michael. "Tinker Bell Talks! Tales of a Pixie Dusted Life".
  21. ^ a b Rembulat, Vince (July 2, 2019). "THE 'REAL' TINKER BELL". Manteca Bulletin. Manteca, CA. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  22. ^ https://fromthemixedupfiles.com/interview-with-disney-legend-margaret-kerry-the-model-for-tinker-bell-from-the-1953-movie/
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ @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.
  25. ^ Rick Law [@Observantview] (14 February 2020). "We have a happy bride and groom! #Disney #wedding #tinkerbell" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  26. ^ "Margaret Kerry, Model for Tinker Bell, Honored on Her 90th Birthday". May 25, 2019. Retrieved Dec 20, 2019.
  27. ^ [1][dead link]
  28. ^ "An Afternoon with A Pixie: Honoring Margaret Kerry". November 10, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  29. ^ @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.
  30. ^ "Margaret Kerry's Tinker Bell Ballet Slippers". December 8, 2023. Retrieved January 18, 2024.
  31. ^ "An Iconic Piece of Disney History Is Now on Display at the Walt Disney Family Museum". December 21, 2023. Retrieved January 18, 2024.