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May 06, 2013

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How random and lovely. How often do people who have bit parts get noticed and interviewed?

She's as much a part of Christmas as the star on the tree. You've given us all a great gift with your interview.

Wow, Gina, this is amazing - what a great interview and how lovely to hear about the maid's life and reminiscences. It will add something every time I see 'Scrooge' in the future.

Phew! Waited 40 years for someone to put a name and some details to the face. Thank you so much.

Thank you so much for generously solving this mystery of the nephew's maid. I've been waiting a long time to put a name with that sweet face and lovely smile.
She mentioned doing a bit of voiceover work for one of the children. I think you've solved another mystery for me. When young Peter is reading aloud from the Bible after Tiny Tim's death, the voice changes for a few verses when the camera moves away from him. Then the camera comes back and it's Peter's voice again. The interim voice does sound more like a young girl than a lad.....could this be her voice?
If it is hers, perhaps someone could let her know that yes, her voice was actually used.
So thanks again for your research and scholarship. it is very much appreciated.

For over 30 years I have been shushing friends and family when Ebenezer knocks on Fred's door. Seems a bit silly since there isn't any dialogue in the scene. Thank you for the interview and for solving the mystery of who is the wonderful lady playing Fred's maid in Scrooge.

I'm going to send this link to all those I've shushed over the years so perhaps they will forgive me or at least realize I'm not the only one that thinks highly of Theresa Derrington's performance.

Christmas came early this year! I've wondered who the lovely maid was every since i saw the movie for the first time. I am so glad she has led a wonderful life and i wish her well. Thank you so much for this info, and i can see i am not the only one that has wondered this for years....lol

Bless you! Thanks for finding this woman!

What a fine, simple scene!

Fantastic! I have been wondering who this was, she is the cutest thing I have ever seen without a voice . I hope she realizes the subtle, yet important part she plays in Scrooge's conversion that would not have been complete without her. Delightful.

Thank you for this wonderful insight about this very beautiful, talented, silent artist. I always enjoy the short part she had in this classic. Wishing all the best to you and to her.

Again, thank you. Another mid-50's male who has been endeared to the lovely maid from long ago. I appreciate knowing who she is. Please pass on the kind notes from all of us.

One of her admirers in the U. S. of A.

I've been watching "Christmas Carol" two or three times a year for a few decades now, and have had such a crush on the maid all this time! But beyond that, I've wondered if the director knew that sometimes people need just the slightest nudge to follow through on life-changing decisions. Just a smile and a nod gave Scrooge the courage to go through those doors. We should all mimic her encouraging spirit.

I hope Theresa finds it pleasing to know her small part has impacted so many people through the years. And, what a joy to live in a time when we can make such connections across time and distance. Thanks for the interview.

Another USA fan of Theresa.

Who is the actress that played Fred's wife?

Thank you so much Gina for solving this wonderful mystery. One of many on IMDB page that really enjoyed the beautiful scene with the maid and Scrooge. I would had loved to hear Theresa's initial reaction upon learning how many hearts she touched from that one scene. Thanks again and Merry Christmas

Stumbled across this site by accident & so glad i did. I've loved this touching little scene for over 50 years. I'm surprised and very pleased to find I'm not the only one who has always been entranced by her sweet face. Thank you.

I just watched the film Theresa plays in prompting me to perform my annual search for the elusive name of what has become known as "Fred's maid." I am happy to not only see the actress's name has been found but that she is alive, very well and happy. My yule season is not cheery unless I see this Alistair version, along with Holiday Affair, original Miracle/34th St, the Bishop's Wife, but I also stay focused through those few seconds Miss Theresa comes and leaves her scene. Such a charming, simply beautiful face requiring no lines to elicit easy acceptance of a former grouch's conversion to kind welcoming soul.
I applaud this researcher and interviewer for successfully ferreting out this important character for so many of us. If we had an address for Miss (now Mrs) Theresa I'd send her a holiday greeting but since we do not I wish her, her family and friends a Wonderful and Merry Christmas along with a Happy, Healthy New Year of good blessings and favorable abundance.
I wish to thank her for being a simple spark within a fine holiday classic. Her magic moment continues for these 60 years now!
And I send Gina holiday wishes and a big thank you for this Christmas gift you provided us.
Thank you so much.
DonL

It's true! "Fred's Maid" character made that scene. For such a humble and obscure role, her credits should be up there with the Ghost because her innocence, beauty, and knowing smile are as fleeting as souls long lost.

I love her face - impish, sweet, kind, gentle - she conveyed so much in such a short amount of time. Thanks ever so much for this story.

All these years, I thought I was ALONE in my love of this wonderful maid,and, her beautiful smile.

Thanks to you , my friend, for finding this IMPORTANT information

Great work, I've been wondering too for about 40 years! Also, for those of you interested in identifying the actress playing Martha Cratchit, it appears to be Moiya Kelly (note interesting spelling of her first name), as mentioned at the following website:

http://www.aveleyman.com/FilmCredit.aspx?FilmID=3401

which also has the names of the actresses playing the two other Crachit girls.

Note also that a Google image search of "Moiya Kelly" produces the following jpeg image:

https://www.argentaimages.com/media/image/q/Moiya+Kelly/page/1

It appears that the young woman on the left is indeed the actress who played Martha Cratchit. It identifies her as a 22 year old student at Park Teachers' College, Cockfosters, London originally from Edgeware.

such a beautiful young lady with a lovely smile.I think previous commenters have said it all.johnehardaker@hotmail.com

Been a Christmas tradition to watch "Scrooge" since I was a child and I am now 65. Merry Christmas to all from Canada.

I'll add my voice to the many who have already posted here. Theresa touched so many with her short, silent scene, and like other posters I hope she knows how highly so many of us value her performance. And thank you, Gina. While the mystery and mystique have been dispelled, you've more than made up for it with the information you've given us. Best wishes to you and to Theresa.

As with so many others I have watched that wonderful movie more than once a year but especially at Christmas.Theresas smile and nod have made me feel warm and fuzzy for more than fifty years. Thank you Gina for giving her face a name and the wonderful background.

Just finished watching again this year, and was amazed to get on this site and find the young maid's identity and interview! I always remember this scene and how heart-warming it was, thanks to Theresa. God bless you for finding her, and bless Theresa for giving me these memories. (I'm now 59).

We watched the Sim Scrooge again last night, as we do every Christmas, and it was an extra pleasure to know the maid's name at last. I agree that her smile is the final nudge in Scrooge's "reclamation". It was also a delight to notice, for the first time ever, that the maid appears twice more - once serving drinks in the first scene of Fred's party (clearly the appearance she thought was edited out) and finally closing the doors just before the polka. She was doing what all good servants did at that time - being invisible - but no longer.

Thank you and Merry Christmas

This is so wonderful :).

I just finished watching the 'Sim version' for the very first time, and I loved it (despite it's being rather badly edited by an American television company).

So struck was I by the encouraging maid that appeared the end of the film, I took to the net to discover her identity. In one sitting I became aware of both a long running mystery and it's happy and interesting conclusion. How fantastic that her family was so helpful in arranging a conversation, and that she herself is still with us and willing to share her experiences.

Sincere thanks to Gina Dalfonzo for providing an answer to those new to the mystery, and to those who've been long wondering. Great job - truly. Special thx too to Paul Tollet for taking the time and interest to write in in the first place. Thx Gina and Paul!

Many others have said it all so well already... Patricia Nolan-Hall, Maria Tomkins, Todd K, 'Carl the Shusher' (lol! great story) and everyone else... so I will simply add this: While I would never criticize or second guess a person's decision to raise a family, one can't help but wonder what might have been. A performance and bearing that inspired so many to search for so long might have been the first (well... second) appearance of one of the greats, had things gone differently. I'm sure she has no regrets, but I'll bet the charisma she exuded in that seemingly simple scene would have carried her on to a brilliant acting career. As things are, she must have more fans per moment of screen time than anyone in film history!

Thanks again - Can't wait to check out the rest of the site once the holidays wind down.

Love, happy holidays, and best wishes to all from the snowy mountains of West Virginia.

So happy you identified this girl. Perhaps Mr. Sim didn't look at her, but feel his attention to the character's seeking acceptance in the next scene a reason. And the glances so subtle and self-effacing - well, it is just perfect. Her nod is his encouragement and confirmation of what he has learned the night before.

How lovely that she can be so well remembered.

Wow! Michael Compton writes: "...she must have more fans per moment of screen time than anyone in film history!" I think this is true. Just those few seconds, more than six decades ago, and here are people all around the world who admit to being struck right to the heart by her. Congratulations to the writer who put it in, to the director who orchestrated her performance, and to Theresa herself for infusing it with real magic.
In a film that's great in every way, she's right up there with the best.

I'm so happy to hear about this actress; it's probably my favourite move scene of all time. Mr. Scrooge wouldn't have acknowledged a maid before the transformation and he actually looked to her for approval before entering the room. Her encouragement was beautifully portrayed.

Thanks so very much!

`I also felt lucky to come across this article, and thank you, I love to find out "what happened to..." esp actors who made an impact in movies such as Theresa. Over the years I have thought how much of an impact those few minutes made in that movie on scrooge, and yes admittedly so, I had a small crush on this cute actress -lol.

Just a note to say that I sent this comment thread to Theresa's family, and her son Tom showed it to her. He reports that she was "really thrilled"!

Also, while I'm truly grateful for all the kind words about the interview, I couldn't possibly have done it without the kind and generous help of her family members, so I want to express my thanks to them once again.

Thank you for sharing this. Her quiet encouragement to Scrooge to go into the parlour is a gentle, unassuming moment of acting brilliance. It's nice to have a name to go with her performance.

My wife & I speak of this actress every time we watch our own DVD. Without any dialogue, she still does a wonderful job in her very small part in this classic film. I hope she realizes just how many people still speak of her, 61 years after that performance.

I agree with all the comments above. I love that scene. She exhibits such a sweetness as if she knows about Scrooge's transformation and she is helping his transition. Thank you for the research and this post.

I also have waited a long time to see who this woman was - what an interesting smile! I also had an interest in finding out (for years!) who sang the part of the young Ebenezer Scrooge in the Mr. Magoo version - turned out to be a girl named Marie Matthews, who I was lucky enough to email about 4 months ago after purchasing the "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" book - which she autographed! It's great to get these riddles solved. Thank you for your efforts.

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  • A blog for all things Dickens -- quotes, reflections, adaptations, references and tributes from other authors, and more.

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