Help end world hunger

« Another blue plaque for Dickens | Main | On playing Dickens's bad guys »

May 06, 2013

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hi Ms. Dalfonzo - This not a post I would expect you to put up but more a way to contact you as I can't see an email link. I have been following up the gaps in Allan Esler-Smith's short film on the locations of his great uncle's film Scrooge. I think between us he and I have found all the "real world" locations, and identified the studio sets... except for the door of Fred's house. We can't decide if it was a set or a real place and the details point both ways! We don't know if we have completed the set or there is one more place to track down. So I was Googling around and found this post. I wonder if I could ask please if in your conversation it was clear whether Ms. Derrington was filmed at the studio or on location? If it was a studio we can rest from our search, if it was a location we go onwards!
Many thanks

I e-mailed Theresa's son, who asked her about it. She reports that it was a film set.

Thank you so much for finding out who played her. I have always loved this movie and espically this scene. I have had a crush on her since I was a kid (I'm 35 now). I have always loved that smile and it always filled me with happiness and just a great overall feeling. Thank you Mrs. Derrington! Your fan from Buffalo New York!

I'd checked IMDB a couple of times, and "Fred's Maid" was not included in the cast list. Now it is -- must be due to this superb post. Have you let Ms. Derrington know how beloved she has been for 60+ years?

Thank you for the compliment, Angus! Yes, I did let her know. She was astounded, but very pleased!

Great job guys!

Great work. The last two posters mentioned her resemblance to Audrey Hepburn-- and I had actually read somewhere that the maid was Audrey in an uncredited role. Your site comes a week too late to save me embarrassment. When I showed the classic Sim Christmas Carol to my Humanities class last week, I told them that, and now I have to take it back. Aargh. --G. Leonard, San Francisco State University

I just discovered this and am very grateful for your diligence in pursuing this interview with Theresa Derrington. I hope you don't mind, I posted a link to it on my FB page, which is a fan page for this film. Those interested can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/AChristmasCarol1951

Ditto to so many of the comments so far. I thought it was only me who'd noticed her and liked her so much! Just watched the film again last night.

My sister and I have loved and watched this version of the Christmas Carol since it came on TV in the early 50's. Like every one else I have always been taken by that lovely actress, Fred's Maid. Have just watched it again this December and raised our 5 children on it. My youngest son brought this wonderful discovery to my attention. Amazing how many popped have been so taken with this lovely youn lady all these years. And she seems to have had a wonderful life.

Hello
I was wondering, do you think I could write a letter to Theresa Derrington? Love to have her autograph. Can someone help with an address please?
Cheers!

I love Theresa !!! I've been wondering who the "mystery maid" was for almost fifty years. Thanks for solving the annual Yuletide question !!

Just found this as Scrooge is playing on tv again, always have wondered about the maid with Barbara Allan playing in the background, thanks and Merry Christmas

We were watching again this year and I paused to ask my wife, "I wonder what ever happened to the maid?" This morning my wife found this on the web!
How beautiful to see how her adept and touching performance has moved so many for decades.
Thank you so much!

So..it may be 2.5 yrs after this orignal posting but its Christmas and Ive watched Scrooge for the 3rd time this year. (I watch it anytime and especially at Christmas because its my favourite version of the film!) I noticed some of the commentors are from Britain...a Canadian can also have been taken by Theresa Derrington. Ive wondered for years...Ive always known her name but wondered why she never continuted to act. Shes perfect in this role...and in the Robinhood film as well and I wondered about the voiceovers in Scrooge also.
Thank you Theresa...thank you so much for the rolls you played, for bringing a smile to my face each time I see you and for this interview...and thank you for this Dickens blog.

Prof D.

I too have been touched over the decades by Theresa's brief appearance in this classic film. Would her son be able to provide us with a more current photograph of her? Also, I'm a stickler for details - I'd love to know the date she filmed her scenes as well as the name of the studio...

Thanks to all of you who've dropped by to read this interview and leave your comments! I had a nice Christmas e-mail from Theresa's son, who said that his mother is doing well. Her family continues to be impressed and moved by all the compliments for her performance!

In a way I'm disappointed. It's sort of like the Loch Ness monster. If it's found, it's not as much fun. She is the emotional highlight of the movie and the scene seals the 1951 version as the best and most moving of all the Dicken's movie. Would like to know a little more about who conceived and choreographed the scene. I watch the movie and then go back and watch her scene 5 or 6 times. So very glad she has had such a happy life, and now I know why she never became a major star after the screen test to end all screen tests.

As I noted above, I'm a stickler for detail. I found these two links interesting; they are about the history of the studio, which was located just west of London, where "A Christmas Carol" was filmed. Gina, I'm not if this request was lost in the fray, but I sure would love to learn the date that Theresa was on-set filming.

http://www.tvstudiohistory.co.uk/independent%20studios.htm#walton
http://www.britmovie.co.uk/studios/Nettlefold-Studios-Walton-on-Thames/

Velicia, thanks for the links -- they're fascinating!

Honestly, I'm a little bit hesitant to keep sending more questions to Theresa's family and asking them to get her to answer them (if she even remembers the dates after all these decades). It was incredibly gracious of her to grant the interview, and while I do understand the desire to know more, I'm afraid that to keep asking follow-up questions -- or to ask for her home address, as MKP requested -- would be to take advantage of her kindness. I hope you can understand.

Hi Gina. Yes, I can understand that. If a future opportunity arises and you are comfortable posing the question, please keep me in mind.

On a whim, the other day I was going through the cast in an effort to determine who among them was still alive. It was through this effort that I came across your blog. It appears that Theresa is the only living cast member as far as I could tell. I am curious to know whatever became of Ignorance and Want... They were quite young and likely to still be around as well.

Thank you for shining the spotlight on this charming actress. Her scene, accompanied by the instrumental of the sorrowful "Barbara Allen" is one of my favorite scenes in the film. With no words spoken, this young maid's gentle nod offers redemption and encouragement to the now-humbled Scrooge.

Thanks for understanding, Velicia. I appreciate it. If I ever do have the opportunity to talk with her again, I'll be sure to share your request.

That's very interesting about the cast members. Hard to believe so many of them are gone now!

Of course, Gina. And thank you for gifting us with the results of your efforts.

I hope I am not going too far off-topic by including a link to Sim's widow's obituary. I happen to be massively entertained by back-story.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-naomi-sim-1113064.html

I grew up watching the American Version "A Christmas Carol" although I must admit as a young child being frightened by the last scene of the Ghost of Christmases yet to come". I was born only 4 years before the movie was made. In the midst of my second tour in Vietnam I was injured just prior to Christmas 1967 and ended up in the Naval Hospital in Yokosuka,Japan. On Christmas Eve this movie was shown. In the midst of the pain suffering surrounding me I remember watching Theresa Derrington's gentle face and listening to Barbara Allen. It made me smile. I was lucky. I recovered, finished my tour, and came home. Please if you get chance tell her performance saved my sanity/life.

Let me join with all the others in thank you. Her performance as the maid was great! She did so much with her eyes, and a nod of her head. I've tried to find her and now I have.

Is there a way to send her a card to show appreciation?

Thanks, Mike, for sharing your story. And thank you for your service. My dad was in Vietnam too, so I always love to talk with veterans!

I always love watching her in that scene. She has the greatest change of emotions and expressions on her face.

I'm having a hard time trying to find the name of the polka played at Fred's house. I, too, have admired that assuring smile she gave Scrooge and wondered who she was, now I know and appreciate the investigating done to locate her.

The scene between Scrooge and Fred's maid is my favorite scene in the entire movie! The unspoken emotional chemistry between Scrooge's hesitation and the maid's look of encouragement is so very well done.

My favorite scene from my favorite movie! It was wonderful to stumble onto this dialog on Christmas Eve, just after watching it on TV. I go back with this movie to the early 1960’s, when WOR-TV in New York would usually show it at 7:30 PM for a whole week at Christmas time; in some later years (in pre-VCR days) it was a challenge to find it televised but I almost always was able to do so each year. Like a few others who’ve posted, as a young boy I had a bit of a crush on this character and have always looked forward to this scene (imagine how much less emotional it would have been if Scrooge entered and just spoken to Fred directly). Thanks, Gina, it was wonderful to discover Ms. Derrington’s story, and glad that you have been able to convey to her how much her performance had meant to so many.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

WELCOME

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

Happy 200th, Mr. Dickens!

Blog powered by Typepad