I just finished a pair of posts listing the best live-action Disney actors and actresses. I made mention of Ms. Beaumont in this way: “Thinking of females who popped up fairly often we might list Kathryn Beaumont or Mary Costa, but they only appeared as voice artists in animation.“
Well, that may have been true of Ms. Beaumont’s time with Disney, but before Disney she appeared live
MGM – 1948
Kathryn Beaumont (born 27 June 1938) is an English actress who is best known for providing the voices of both Alice in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Wendy in Disney’s Peter Pan (1953). Walt Disney personally cast Beaumont after seeing the film On an Island with You, in which child actress Beaumont had a small role as Penelope Peabody:
My favorite line of hers from the film occurs when her mother is trying to get her a part in a film (being made within the film) from Mr. Buckley (Jimmy Durante). Beaumont recites ‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue’ to be included in a wedding scene. Buckley puts them off by telling the pair that Penelope is ‘too British!’ Penelope looks up at her movie mother and says: “Mummy, what’s wrong with being too British?”
Priceless! Obviously, Walt thought so too. Would you like to see how she looked in this role? Here is a frame from the movie:
Here, she is reciting the wedding rhyme
Beaumont with Jimmy Durante
For interest sake, Beaumont was 10 years old in On an Island With You, 13 when she did Alice, and 15 when she was Wendy in Peter Pan.
In 2005, Beaumont retired as the voice of Alice and Wendy, and her role as these two characters was taken over by Hynden Walch.