Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Inside the Mouse Castle With Margaret Kerry

Margaret Kerry has had a busy career in entertainment. She began acting at the age of 4, appearing in the 1935 film A Midsummer Night's Dream and a number of Our Gang comedies. Later, she co-starred in one of the first sitcoms on television, The Charlie Ruggles Show. She's done voice work in hundreds of cartoons, hosted her own radio talk show and even shared the screen with the Three Stooges.

To Disney fans, though, she'll always be Tink.

Working on a Walt Disney Studios sound stage in 1950 and 1951, Margaret was the live-action reference model for Tinker Bell in Disney's Peter Pan. The urban legend persists that Marilyn Monroe was somehow the inspiration for the tiny pixie, but the truth is it was all Margaret. She handled huge props and peeked through keyholes on the empty stage, using her dance and pantomime skills to assist animator Marc Davis in the development of the character. Tink's famous pout? Margaret. Upon seeing Peter Pan for the first time, Margaret's late husband, Jack Willcox, noted, "I'd recognize those thighs anywhere."

At MiceChat's 7th anniversary celebration in January, I sat down with Margaret and talked with her about her long career, her loving fans and how she keeps the Disney magic alive.

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