It's a tale as old as time. Belle is a princess whose kingdom is in trouble, and her father, Sir Maurice, has no choice but to turn to Rumplestiltskin for help. In exchange for his assistance, Rumple demands that Belle come live with him—he could use a little help around the house. Sir Maurice and her fiancé, Gaston, refuse, but Belle accepts for the good of her people. At first, Belle is terrified of Rumplestiltskin, and he doesn't really treat her like more than the help, but as time goes on, the two start to become drawn to each other. He eventually trusts Belle enough to let her leave his castle on an errand. On the road, she encounters The Evil Queen and confesses that she's in love. The Queen, knowing what will happen, advises Belle to tell Rumplestiltskin how she feels and to kiss him. True Love's Kiss solves just about everything, after all. Rumple is terrified that Belle won't ever return, taking the errand as a chance to escape him, but she comes back. And more, she follows The Queen's advice. Belle's kiss does actually begin to lift Rumplestiltskin's curse, but as he senses his power leaving with the curse, he becomes enraged and returns to his scaly self. He accuses Belle of plotting against him and refuses to believe she could actually love him. He forces Belle away, much to his regret later. After Belle is gone, The Queen pays a visit to Rumplestiltskin and informs him that Belle's people shunned her for her association with him and she died. Rumple is heartbroken.
But Belle lived. In Storybrooke, Regina (The Evil Queen) had Belle locked in the bowels of the Storybrooke hospital, making this just about the only piece of information that Mr. Gold (Rumplestiltskin) didn't have. Like everyone else, Belle had no memory of who she had been in Fairy Tale Land or why she had been imprisoned. As revenge for double-crossing him again, Jefferson (The Mad Hatter) freed Belle and told her to find Mr. Gold and tell him she had been locked up by Regina, hoping this would pit him against Regina. Belle followed the instructions and found Mr. Gold who was genuinely overwhelmed at the sight of his lost beloved. He took her with him to the woods outside Storybrooke where they were truly reunited as The Curse was broken and he dropped the True Love potion into the well, bringing magic to Storybrooke.
Emilie de Ravin
Most fans will recognize Emilie de Ravin for her role as Claire Littleton on ABC's LOST. She was also a series regular on Roswell and starred in the films Remember Me, Public Enemies and Love and Other Troubles.