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Tiny Kline (born Helen Deutsch,[1] June 21, 1891 - July 5, 1964)[2] was a Hungarian-born[3] circus performer. She performed for Barnum & Bailey and Disneyland.

Life and careerEdit

In 1905, Kline immigrated to the United States with a dance troupe.[3] She lived at the Clara de Hirsch home for immigrant girls.[4] She started as a burlesque dancer, but moved on to perform in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as Tiny Duchée.[5] There, she met rodeo trick rider Otto Kreinbrink (stage name Otto Kline). Two years later, they married. When he died during a ride, she took over and learned acrobatic tricks, including the "aerial iron jaw act", where she would be suspended by the mouth on a long glide wire.

In 1961, Walt Disney began a search for a flying Tinker Bell to wow crowds at Disneyland. Kline was hired to glide down a wire connecting the Matterhorn to Sleeping Beauty's Castle.[3] She retired from playing Tinker Bell in 1964. Tiny was scheduled to return as Tinker Bell that same year, but she died from stomach cancer before coming out of retirement.[6] At the time of her death Tiny left the bulk of her estate to the Clara de Hirsch Home for Working Girls. Tiny Kline is buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, Los Angeles, California.


  1. ^ Kline, Tiny. (2008). Circus Queen and Tinker Bell: The Memoir of Tiny Kline. Edited by Janet M. Davis. University of Illinois Press.
  2. ^ Tiny H. Kline - Death Record
  3. ^ a b c Tinker Bell bio on MousePlanet. Retrieved on 2009-10-14.
  4. ^ Zemeckis, Leslie (2013). Behind The Burly Q. Delaware: Skyhorse. ISBN 978-1-62087-691-6.
  5. ^ Ladley, Diane A. Haunted Naperville. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2009. 87.
  6. ^ Disneyland Tinkerbell Fought Pain, Death Alone

External linksEdit