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June 27, 2021

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Teresa's son Tom Hepenstal added these interesting details about his mother in an e-mail:

"She was born in London in 1931 and gained a highly prized scholarship to study drama at RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) in 1949. As a student she took part in a number of stage productions, and, of course, played a minor but memorable part in Scrooge (she also had another small film part, which I think you know about, in Robin Hood starring Richard Todd).

"She gave up her acting career to raise a family of five children (in Birmingham) and later gained a bachelors in Art History at London University. She taught art in a girls' highschool in Birmingham, and later gave history of art lectures for adult education groups in Birmingham. She continued with this teaching after she retired to Norfolk with my father in 1987. For twenty years she lectured to mature student groups, including with the University of East Anglia, Norwich. She led many field trips to parts of England (i.e. London) and Europe to visit art galleries and lectured about the paintings. She introduced many people to the joys of fine art, and a number of her students have described to me their gratitude for her having done this.

"Her love of paintings and fine art continued throughout her life, but she was always very modest and unassuming about her theatrical accomplishments which she seldom talked about. She was, however, critical of poor dramatic technique whenever she watched drama or films on the stage or the screen.

"My sisters, brother and I are very saddened by her passing and she is greatly missed. We are grateful that she had a long and interesting life and achieved much in her time. She was slightly puzzled by the interest shown in her film appearance, but pleased that people had enjoyed her work."

Thank you, Gina.

Condolences to the family on the passing of Teresa. I feel that all of us who loved her from our first viewing of her unforgettable performance are feeling quite bereft. The world was a better place for her sojourn here. Can you believe that the film was released SEVENTY years ago? And here we are, never met Teresa, never saw any other moment of her acting work, never even knew her name until a few years ago. But those few long-ago moments as Fred's maid had us all fall just a little bit in love with the gentle lady under the big cap. Rest in peace, dear Teresa. A life well lived. You will be remembered with affection by the many 'fans' you charmed so effortlessly and indelibly. Sweet dreams.

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