'Peter Pan': Disney's Iconic Tinkerbell Is Inspired By Marilyn Monroe and Margaret Kerry

'Peter Pan': Disney's Iconic Tinkerbell Is Inspired By Marilyn Monroe and Margaret Kerry

April 23, 2022

Few Disney films have the staying power that Peter Pan does. While Walt Disney didn’t invent the literary character, their portrayal helped bring him to a bigger audience than ever, but it wasn’t all because of the boy who never grew up. Peter’s companion, Tinker Bell, became one of the most famous Disney characters, and many assume her likeness came from Marilyn Monroe. However, if you ask Margaret Kerry, that isn’t quite true. 

‘Peter Pan’ brings Tinker Bell to the world

According to IMDb, Kerry made her big debut playing nameless characters in several films in the mid-1930s. There, she learned about the Hollywood lifestyle for better and worse from an early age. While she never became a superstar, her work as Tinker Bell’s real-world template is more iconic than several A-listers’ top roles. 

After Peter Pan, Kerry became a successful television actress, appearing in several series from The Lone Ranger to The New Three Stooges and Space Angel. Kerry also appeared as two different characters on the iconic series The Andy Griffith Show. While she took a step back in the 1960s, she still appears on the screen from time to time, last appearing in a short film called Before There Were Wings. 

Now, Kerry has been in and out of show business for nearly 90 years, and despite never reaching the fame that she once sought, her most iconic role still resonates decades after she helped lay the groundwork. Her story and career help show just how much of an impact someone can have on the industry, even if they never become Marilyn Monroe, and for that, we should all know Margaret Kerry’s name. 

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