Who Was The Live Model For The Beloved Disney Character Tinker Bell?
- Patrick Hunter
Who was the inspiration for Tinker Bell?
Margaret Kerry’s life was forever altered when, at age 18, she was cast as a 3-and-a-half-inch, silent fairy. The now-90-year-old had been performing since the age of four, but it was her role as the live-action model for Tinker Bell in the 1953 animated film “Peter Pan” that propelled her to fame.
- Erry is aware that the beloved character continues to captivate audiences, and she wouldn’t have it any other way, despite her busy career in Hollywood.
- Today, Kerry is still active and thriving, making personal appearances for her fans across the country.
- In 2016, she also published “Tinker Bell Talks,” her autobiography.
‘MY LITTLE PONY’ STAR TELLS Margaret Kerry stated that during her Tinker Bell audition, she performed as if she were nine years old and had never seen a mirror. (Getty) The actress spoke with Fox News about becoming Tinker Bell, as well as meeting Walt Disney, the Marilyn Monroe rumors, and her life today.
The Fox News: You published an autobiography a few years ago. What, in retrospect, prompted you to come forward with your story? Margaret Kerry: I began so far in the past that I don’t really recall. After telling my story to fans numerous times over the years, I decided it was time to write it down. I simply believed that people would be interested in learning about Hollywood.
And I started in 1933! What was it like to begin your professional career at age 4? Kerry: It was so different back then. I had just been adopted. The Great Depression occurred. My new parents were extremely nice, but considerably older. I began my career 86 years ago.
And I’m still going! However, it has been a marvelous life. Andy Griffith (left) and Don Knotts. (AP) The Fox News: What was it like to appear on “The Andy Griffith Show?” Kerry: Andy Griffith, you know, had two personalities. People do not comprehend what it was like to produce a weekly television show when he was also the producer.
It’s powerful. You would observe him standing apart with a distinct stance. You were aware of his producer role. He then walked over to the lights and assumed his role as the actor. And he was charming, just charming. He and Don Knotts were wonderful to collaborate with.
And they were unafraid to share the stage for the majority of the performance! LOONEY TUNES Actress Reveals All Fox News: And what was Don Knotts like? Kerry: It’s humorous. He would go and sit on the director’s chair as we set up the scene. He would stare into the void. When they were ready for us, he would immediately hit the lights and transform.
And the very first thing he would say would always make us laugh. He would break up Andy and everyone else. And we would typically film our scenes in a single take. Much of it was due to Don Knotts. He put us at ease and in the present moment. Margaret Kerry was the inspiration for the Disney character Tinker Bell.
With thanks to Margaret Kerry) How did you end up becoming Tinker Bell, Fox News? Kerry: I was 18 years old and had an agent at the time. One day, she called me and said, “Get over here immediately. They are interviewing for a 3 1/2-inch, non-speaking sprite. It is a Disney film.” I responded, “I’ll be there!” Everyone who attended the audition performed the same action.
They merely desired to view the interior of Disney or were already fans. For my audition, I recreated the scene from the film where Tinker Bell looks in the mirror. I acted as if she were a nine-year-old who had never seen a mirror. I subsequently began working.
Margaret Kerry expressed pride in her role as Tinker Bell. (With thanks to Margaret Kerry) The Fox News: What percentage of Tinker Bell were you? Kerry: Marc Davis had only this small phrase from J.M. Barrie’s book to work with. However, she needed a personality. He observed this during my interview. I’m quirky, I’m funny.
I’m a bit of an adventurer. I believe this is what he saw. When I first stepped in front of the camera, I asked Mr. Davis, “Do you want her to be bouncy like Betty Boop or above it all like a fairy queen?” He told me, “We want her to be you, Margaret.” I am a dancer, and she walks like a ballerina.
- Her arms float like a dancer.
- Everything she does and every move she makes is identical to mine as a dancer.
- I’m an actress, so that goes without saying.
- But fundamentally, I am myself.
- They permitted me to be myself.
- So I assert that perhaps I gave her a third dimension.
- Margaret Kerry stated that Tinker Bell was modeled after her.
— With thanks to Margaret Kerry The Fox News: The character is said to have been inspired by Marilyn Monroe over the years. Kerry: That makes intuitive sense, doesn’t it? We worked together. I thought she was incredibly beautiful and adorable. She was a sweet creature.
We got in trouble for wearing a two-piece bathing suit to a magazine when we were young and modeling for a magazine. Yes, it has been that long ago. Little Mermaid Actress Reveals All However, I was told that a Disney executive or artist was being interviewed on the radio. They discussed the arrival of this character with such a curvy build.
And he responded, “Yes, she is curvy like Marilyn Monroe.” Then he continued speaking. Someone picked up on it. And it makes sense. She was under contract with Fox at the time, and they were developing her into a major star. Fox never would have lent her out.
- Ever. In 1948, Marilyn Monroe poses in a bathing suit for a portrait.
- Image: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) ) How did you get yourself into trouble with Marilyn Monroe? Kerry: I got a call from a PR man one day.
- I had completed all of these tasks for ABC, and the network desired publicity for both me and themselves.
We therefore traveled to the Beverly Hills Hotel. It was just a gorgeous place with bungalows. I drove myself to the photoshoot when I was 18 and 19 years old. I brought my model’s bag because I planned to wear a two-piece bathing suit for a magazine spread.
- There were seven of us planned.
- The bungalow is located, and the models are nearly all present by the time I arrive.
- However, there is then a knock at the door.
- Margaret Kerry claimed to have known Marilyn Monroe prior to the blonde bombshell’s rise to fame.
- With thanks to Margaret Kerry) This stunningly gorgeous young lady is standing there in a white two-piece swimsuit.
I cannot even begin to describe how beautiful she was. Her hair was exquisitely styled. Her makeup was flawless. She entered and whispered, “I’m so sorry I’m late.” Then, a tiny man with three cameras around his neck entered the room while taking photographs.
- The moment he sees Marilyn, we all knew who will be featured.
- However, we posed at the pool.
- Because we were wearing a two-piece swimsuit, the public relations team scrambled to come up with a positive story to write about us.
- That was extremely scandalous.
- Therefore, we were in trouble for that.
- The premiere of Walt Disney’s “Peter Pan” was in 1953.
(Image by LMPC through Getty Images) The Fox News: You also influenced the mermaid with red hair in “Peter Pan.” Could it be said that you inspired Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”? Kerry: I enjoy telling people that I am her great-great-grandmother. I believe that everything Disney does inspires new ideas.
June Foray, who provided the voice of Rocky in “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” was a mermaid. She was the mermaid with dark hair. After two days, June and I exchanged glances and she said, “Well, it’s been two days.” “Why do we compete to appear in front of the camera? Voiceovers are the way to go moving forward.
No makeup, no hairstyle, no costume, and it is not 8 a.m. If they make a mistake, the tape will be re-run.” From there, we both entered the voice-over industry. I held Disney responsible for that action. ‘RUGRATS’ STAR TELLS ALL Fox News: What was it like meeting Walt Disney? Kerry: Since I was four years old, I’ve been taught that the head studio is comparable to God.
You’ve never met him and have never seen him. But if you did, you curtsied. Now that I’m in the middle of this soundstage, I see these groups of shadows appear. Buddy Epson is leading them because his walk is impossible to miss. When the other men left, Walt Disney approached Mark Davis and the cameramen to say hello.
He observed the sketches to determine the situation. I was then summoned to meet him. Margaret Kerry reported having a lasting impression of Walt Disney himself. — Courtesy of Margaret Kerry I was dumbfounded. He was the studio’s leader! I simply had no idea what to do.
So I answered his questions like a schoolgirl. Someone informed him that I attended school with his daughters. I didn’t know how to respond to his question, so I simply said, “I think I’m in love” *laughs* He was simply incredible. He was very charming and dressed so smartly. He was very skinny — much more than I ever thought.
And he was more handsome than his pictures showed — really! I met him about four times and I just felt like myself. Fox News: What was your initial impression of Bobby Driscoll, who voiced Peter Pan? Kerry: He portrayed my brother in the 1948 film “If You Knew Susie.” Always referred to me as his older sister.
We both adored chocolate, so this was a perfect match. And he was just adorable. He could have been one of the Mouseketeers if he had been there at a later time. He was a truly wonderful person. His mother was a treasure. Simply precious. Bobby Driscoll, circa 1950. (Image via Getty Images) Fox News: Did you ever find out what happened to him after Hollywood? Kerry: Later in life, when his father was dying, his mother reportedly went to Mr.
Disney and said, “My husband needs to locate and know where Bobby is.” I’m told that Mr. Disney dispatched a detective and found him as close to the grave as possible in New York’s potter’s field. They did not know who he was because he had been found in an alley, apparently under the influence of drugs.
He was simply incapable of maturing into an adult actor. I’m told he couldn’t quite comprehend it. Why wasn’t he getting the roles? Because he was no longer a young child. It was beyond his ability to handle. It was a complete tragedy. FORMER ’50S STAR BARBARA PAYTON’S TRAGIC DOWNFALL REVEALED On February 3, 2018, in Los Angeles, actress Margaret Kerry attends the 45th Annual Annie Awards at Royce Hall.
(Photo by David Livingston courtesy of Getty Images) What is the state of your life today? Kerry: It’s fantastic: I’m Tinker Bell! She is recognized internationally. I sprinkle Tinker Bell’s love and am able to do so. It’s a delight. Our culture has evolved substantially.
- People have attempted to make Tinker Bell quite seductive.
- She is approximately nine years old.
- I’ve been searching for a word that best describes her for so long.
- And the term I arrived at is beguiled.
- She is obsessed with love.
- People can relate to this.
- I am able to relate.
- And she is adored by Disney and “Peter Pan” fans.
How much better can it get? Foxnews.com’s Stephanie Nolasco covers entertainment.
Was Tinker Bell modelled after Marilyn Monroe?
Peter Pan (1953) and additional Disney works –
|Tinker Bell (Disney version)|
|Tinker Bell as depicted in Disney media; the character has become one of the company’s most important icons since her debut|
|First appearance||Peter Pan (1953)|
|Created by||Walt Disney Marc Davis|
|Voiced by||Mae Whitman ( Disney Fairies, Kinect: Disneyland Adventures, Disney Infinity )|
In the 1953 film adaptation of Peter Pan by Walt Disney, the character is blonde, wears a green dress, and has white slippers. As in the original play, Peter interprets her communications verbally for the benefit of the audience, and bell sounds are utilized for her gestures.
Tinker Bell, along with Jiminy Cricket and Mickey Mouse, has been one of Disney’s most significant branding icons for over half a century, and is commonly known as “a symbol of ‘the magic of Disney’.” She has appeared in television commercials and show opening credits sprinkling pixie dust with a wand to bestow a magical feeling on various other Disney characters, despite the fact that the 1953 animated version of Tinker Bell never used a wand.
The image and the official Disney Character Archives refer to her as a pixie. There is a myth that Tinker Bell was modeled after Marilyn Monroe in her original animated form. However, the primary reference for animator Marc Davis was actress Margaret Kerry.
- He depicted Tinker Bell as an attractive, young, blonde woman with blue eyes and an exaggerated hourglass figure.
- She wears a bright green dress without straps and green slippers with white puffs.
- She leaves a trail of fairy dust wherever she goes.
- Ginni Mack, age 19, was Davis’s first model for the character; she had previously served as a facial expression model for the company’s Ink and Paint Department’s promotional materials.
For the character’s body, Davis initially collaborated with Kathryn Beaumont, his model for Alice. Margaret Kerry, who was dubbed “World’s Most Beautiful Legs” in 1949 in Hollywood, was cast in the role because her dancing experience helped convey the character’s emotions and she was deemed more “adult” and “sexy” Tinker Bell has been a hostess for much of Disney’s live-action television programming and in all Disney film advertisements since 1954, beginning with Disneyland (which introduced the public to the theme park while it was still under construction) and continuing through Walt Disney Presents, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, and The Wonderful World of Disney.
In 1988, she appeared alongside Porky Pig in the final shot of the final scene of the Disney film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, sprinkling fairy dust on the screen after Porky’s trademark farewell as the screen fades to black before the closing credits. She also co-starred with other Disney characters, such as Chip ‘n Dale, in numerous Disney comics in which she could also speak.
Tinker Bell also appears as a healing summon in the Kingdom Hearts video game series and as a card in Mickey’s Memory Challenge, released in 1993. Tinker Bell is meetable at all Disney Parks and Resorts and resides in Fantasyland. She also appears in Peter Pan’s Flight, a suspended dark ride based on the animated film’s artwork.
- Beginning in 1961, she was featured as a live performer who “flew” suspended from the Matterhorn Bobsled Ride at the start of the nightly fireworks displays.
- Tiny Kline, a 70-year-old former circus performer, portrayed her until her retirement for health reasons three years later.
- Line was succeeded for one summer by the 19-year-old French acrobat Mimi Zerbini, then by Judy Kaye from 1966 to 1977, and by the 27-year-old Gina Rock from 1983 to 2005.
In that year, the Matterhorn zipline was equipped with a pulley system that allowed the performer to move back and forth and up and down. Tinker Bell and Esmeralda were part of the original lineup for the Disney Princess franchise when it was launched in the early 2000s.