Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Books

What's Margaret Kerry, the first Tinker Bell, reading?

Nightstand

Margaret Kerry

As the original Tinker Bell, Kerry was barely out of her teens when she was cast as the live-action model for the fairy in Walt Disney's Peter Pan. This month, Disney marks the movie's 60th anniversary by rolling out a digitally restored Blu-ray version of the family classic. We caught up with Kerry, 83, by phone from Disney's marketing office in Glendale, Calif., where she reflected on her original performance as well as the evolution of animation. "I never, ever expected what, with the computer and Internet's help, would happen with movies,'' Kerry said. "I only wish my children could have been able to watch the movies in all the ways children can now, from our home.''

What's on your nightstand?

P.D. James' Death Comes to Pemberley. She's wonderful. Her writing is superb. It just floats along. I also always love having the unabridged copy of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie with me, especially when I speak to students. I tell everyone if they haven't read it, they must. You know, in the original book, Tinker Bell talked. I love to read students the scene with her in the nursery.

When was the first time you read the book?

It was long before the movie was made. I think I was in sixth grade. We were reading two at once, Peter Pan and Charles Dickens' Tale of Two Cities. We hated Tale of Two Cities. We loved Peter Pan, so I guess you could say it was really the best of times and it was the worst of times.

Do you think movies encourage reading or discourage reading?

Oh, I think these days they encourage reading. For example, I was in a book store and was talking to people who were there buying The Hobbit. They said they had just seen the movie, and now they wanted to check out the book.

Times staff writer Piper Castillo is reachable at [email protected] or (727) 445-4163.

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