Tinker Bell is getting married. Say it isn't so. No, she has not convinced Peter Pan to get hitched. Actually it is not the character of Tinker Bell that is getting married but the reference model who was vital in bringing the character to life in Disney's 1953 animated classic Peter Pan that is tying the knot.
Actress Margaret Kerry at 93 years young is marrying an older man and their love story is nothing short of a Disney fairy tale. You might even file this under the love-at-second-sight category.
Kerry and 94-year-old Robert Boeke will say their “I-dos” on Valentine's Day capping a relationship that started some 70 years ago. Kerry dated Boeke for over a year in the late 1940s. He was a student at the University of Southern California, serving two tours of duty in the military in World War II before he took a job with Mobil Oil in the Golden State. While he was overseas, Kerry stayed in Hollywood where she pursued her acting career ultimately landing the reference model job for Disney's Tinker Bell.
Over the years, both Kerry and Boeke lived their separate lives. Kerry was married to a television director for 37 years and then re-married again for 12. She had three children along the way. Boeke was married for 50 years before his wife died in 2001. He remarried a second time until his wife passed away in 2011.
The spry Kerry has kept busy in recent years appearing at many fan conventions and comic-cons. She has own website and has authored her biography Tinker Bell Talks: Tales of a Pixie Dusted Life and has not let age stand in her way of traveling to many Disney fan events around the country. She has also participated in a number of reunion gatherings for The Andy Griffith Show for her limited time as a cast member on the television series in the 1960's. Mayberry Days is the annual celebration of The Andy Griffith Show in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Kerry says even though she only appeared in two episodes of the sitcom she keeps getting invited back to reminisce about the program with loyal and faithful fans.
But it is the Disney fandom universe that Kerry is perhaps best known these days for her reference model work as the impish Tink in the Disney animated classic. In an interview with me about her book, Kerry put to rest the rumors that Tinker Bell was based on the likeness of Marilyn Monroe. Kerry said at the time Peter Pan was in production, the blonde-bombshell Monroe was under contract with Fox and the studio would have never allowed her to work on any outside projects. The actress told me that a rumor about Monroe as the Tinker Bell model started when someone mentioned in a radio interview that Tink was “curvy like Marilyn Monroe.”
Besides serving as Tinker Bell's reference model, Kerry also provided the uncredited voice and reference movements of the red-haired mermaid in the Neverland lagoon scene in Peter Pan.
While Kerry was busy pursuing her acting career, Boeke was serving his country during World War II with deployments in Europe and the Pacific. It was during a summer trip last year overseas to participate in historic D-Day festivities that the veteran remembered his long lost love. He happened upon a store in Amsterdam called Tinker Bell's Toys and mentioned to a friend that he once dated her. That led to the friend reaching out to Kerry through her website and a love connection was reignited.
A phone call followed which led Boeke to travel hours to attend an Andy Griffith Show reunion and the chance to see Kerry again. Their relationship blossomed and not wanting to waste any more time, Boeke proposed to Kerry and she accepted and the couple started to plan their nuptials.
They will tie the knot on Valentine's Day in the same California church that Ronald and Nancy Reagan were married. They plan a special visit to Disneyland before the couple takes flight on their happily-ever-after. They will live in Sarasota far from her California life but close enough to Walt Disney World, where after all that is where the magic happens.