While doing some reading up on the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol (which I enjoyed very much on TCM last week), I came across an interesting debate. It seems that ever since the film came out, viewers have been falling in love with the maid who takes Scrooge's coat at Fred's house, near the end. She's onscreen for only a moment and never speaks, but her sweet face and kindly manner are captivating.
The odd thing is, no one seems to know for certain who played her.
There's an urban legend that it's a young Audrey Hepburn. I floated this idea on an Audrey Hepburn LiveJournal community I belong to, but the consensus there was that it's probably not her. I do think it looks a little like her, though. Some say it was an actress called Frances Arden, but she doesn't have an IMDb page and no one seems to know a thing about her.
Perhaps we'll never know who played the maid . . . but isn't she quintessentially, delightfully Dickensian? The mysterious, quiet, self-contained, gentle young woman who blesses the lives of all around her just by showing up -- how Dickens must have smiled over that one in heaven. (If he wasn't kicking himself for not having thought her up in the first place.)