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Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple as a child of 10 or 11 years costumed for The Little Princess, a 1939 Technicolor film. She is seen from the waist up looking at a birthday cake with lit candles placed before her. She has a round face and wide smile. Her hair is arranged in ringlets held in place by a ribbon.
Shirley Temple
in The Little Princess (1939)
Born April 23, 1928 (1928-04-23) (age 81)
Santa Monica, California
United States
Other name(s) Shirley Jane Temple[note 1]
Shirley Temple Black
Occupation Actress (1931–1965)
Public servant (1967–present)
Spouse(s) John Agar
(1945–1950, divorce)
Charles Alden Black
(1950–2005, his death)

Shirley Temple (born April 23, 1928) is a former American child actress. She began her screen career in 1932 at the age of three, and, in 1934, skyrocketed to superstardom in Bright Eyes, a feature film designed specifically for her talents. She received a special Academy Award in February 1935, and blockbusting super hits such as Curly Top and Heidi followed year after year during the mid to late 1930s. Licensed merchandise that capitalized on her wholesome image included dolls, dishes, and clothing. Temple's box office popularity waned in her tweens and she left the film industry at the age of twelve to attend high school. She appeared in a few films of varying quality in her mid to late teens, and retired completely from the silver screen in 1950 at the age of twenty-one. She was the top box-office draw four years in a row (1935–1938) in a Motion Picture Herald poll.[1][2]

In 1958, Temple returned to show biz with a two-season television anthology series of fairy tale adaptations. She made guest appearances on various television shows in the early 1960s and filmed a sitcom pilot that was never released. She sat on the boards of many corporations and organizations including The Walt Disney Company, Del Monte Foods, and the National Wildlife Federation. In 1967, she ran unsuccessfully for United States Congress, and was appointed United States Ambassador to Ghana in 1974 and to Czechoslovakia in 1989. In 1988, she published her autobiography, Child Star. Temple is the recipient of many awards and honors including Kennedy Center Honors and a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

In 1945, seventeen-year-old Temple married Army Air Force sergeant John Agar, who, after being discharged from the service, entered the acting profession. The couple made two films together before Temple divorced him on the grounds of mental cruelty in 1949. She received custody of their daughter Linda Susan and the restoration of her maiden name in the process. In January 1950, Temple met the conservative scion of a patrician California family and United States Navy Silver Star recipient Charles Alden Black. She married him in December 1950 following the finalization of her divorce and retired from films the same day to become a homemaker. Charles Alden Black, Jr. was born in 1952 and Lori Alden Black in 1954.


Birth and early years

Weighing six pounds eight ounces, Shirley Temple was delivered without complications at 9:00 p.m. on Monday April 23, 1928, at the Santa Monica Hospital in Santa Monica, California by Dr. Leonard John Madsen to George Francis Temple, a bank emloyee and Gertrude Amelia Krieger, a housewife. George Temple was born May 1888 in Fairview, Pennsylvania and died September 30, 1980, at Woodside, California. His wife Gertrude Amelia Krieger was born July 15, 1893, in Chicago, Illinois and died January 1, 1977, at Woodside, California. At the time of their daughter's birth, the Temples were the parents of two sons, thirteen-year-old John "Jack" Stanley Temple and nine-year-old George "Sonny" Francis Temple, Jr.

Mrs. Temple tried to influence her daughter's future by prenatal association with music, art, and natural beauty. During her pregnancy, she listened to phonograph records, read books aloud, and attended dance recitals and concerts.[3] In the child's first years, Mrs. Temple read storybooks to her toddler, altering the pitch of her voice according to the character's sex, and enacted the story and characters. Her daughter began to mimic her.[4]

The early years of the Great Depression left but little impact on the Temples, though Mr. Temple did take a cut in pay at the bank, which, nevertheless, remained sound through the era. The Temples' house and car were paid in full and Mr. Temple had been cautious with investments. As neighbors and friends were wiped out, Mrs. Temple attended fewer card parties and became aloof and private, focusing her attention upon her daughter. She taught the tot the words to her favorite popular songs, noted the child was able to bring expression to the words, and observed that the child had perfect pitch and could easily repeat simple dance steps.[5]

Child film performers increased in popularity during the Depression era, and, early in 1931, Mrs. Temple took the first steps in bringing her daughter to the screen. She was convinced her three-year-old daughter had exceptional talent,[6] and, at the prompting of her husband,[7] enrolled the youngster in the highly competitive Meglin's Dance School in Los Angeles, California on the Mack Sennett lot (leased at the time to Educational Pictures, a Poverty Row studio) for twice weekly dance lessons[8][9] beginning on September 13, 1931.[10] An added attraction of the dance studio for Mrs. Temple was the promise of public recitals held for parents and other interested parties.[10] Mrs. Temple later revealed in the March 1935 issue of Silver Screen magazine that her daughter quickly became the studio's star pupil.[10]

Mrs. Temple started constructing at home the stylish clothing of fashionable women and children for herself and her daughter, and initiated the morning ritual of styling her daughter's lengthening and thickening hair into precisely fifty-six ringlets in imitation of the hairstyle worn by the young Mary Pickford. The process involved dampening the hair with a wave solution, wrapping a length of hair around a finger, securing it with a bobby pin, and gently combing the ringlet when dry. She called her daughter "Presh" (short for precious) and gave her a few dolls, which became the nucleus of Temple's world famous doll collection.[11]

Shortly after Temple's third birthday, Educational Pictures planned a series of one-reelers called Baby Burlesks to compete with the popular Our Gang comedy shorts.[note 2] Charles Lamont, a film director with Educational, conducted a talent search among the children at the Meglin School, found Temple hiding behind a piano, and encouraged her to audition for the series. She did, and was signed to a two-year contract in January 1932 at $10 a day for a typically four day shooting schedule.[12][13][14]

Film career

First films

The Baby Burlesks were eight 10–11 minute films produced by Jack Hays and directed by Charles Lamont that satirized contemporary motion pictures, celebrities, events, and politics.[15][16] The casts were composed entirely of preschoolers who wore adult costumes on top and diapers fastened with enormous safety pins on the bottom.[17] The concept was likely inspired by the mid-1920s art of C. C. Twelvetrees whose diaper-clad, top-hatted children appeared in Pictorial Review and other publications.[10] Universal Studios put up 75 percent of the backing for the Baby Burlesks and a proposed Universal contract for Temple guaranteeing two years of work, twenty-four films, and plenty of benefits but pay only for days before the camera. Expenses and rehearsals (sometimes as many as ten days) were not remunerated.[15] Temple was disciplined at the studio by being confined to a small "black box" isolation chamber with only a block of ice to sit upon.[15] Her first day on the job entailed almost twelve hours of work with two naps. She took home a $10.00 check, a considerable sum at the time.[15] Her films thereafter usually demanded four days of shooting, days of unpaid rehearsals, and publicity photo shoots.[15]

Temple made her screen debut in April 1932 with Runt Page, a spoof of the play and film The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.[note 3] It was the only film in the series dubbed by adults. The remaining films in the series would by voiced by the children themselves.[15] Temple's first spoken screen line was "Mais oui, mon cher" in War Babies,[18] and her first on-screen tap dance and song, "She's Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage", occurred in Glad Rags to Riches.[14]

Temple appeared in all eight films in the series, and graduated to a series of Educational two-reelers called Frolics of Youth portraying Mary Lou Rogers, a youngster in a contemporary suburban family.[19] She was paid $15 a day or $50 a picture.[20] In order to underwrite film production costs at Educational, Temple and her juvenile co-stars were peddled as models for chewing gum, breakfast cereal, cigar, and candy bar promotional gimmicks and photographs.[21][22]

While under contract for Educational, Temple was loaned-out to other studios. Her first appearance in a feature film was a barely visible role in The Red-Haired Alibi for Tower Productions, Inc. in 1932.[23][24] In 1933, she made several short films for Educational, and, again, was loaned out for bit parts in feature films at Universal, Paramount, and Warner Bros..[25][26]

In February 1934, she signed a contract with Fox Films after Educational declared bankruptcy in September 1933.[27][28] She appeared in bit parts for Fox and was loaned out for a two-reeler and two feature films at Paramount and a feature film for Warner Bros.-First National.[29] Fox publicists did their best to promote Temple as a wunderkind of some sort, but Mrs. Temple conducted her own interviews, often correcting the hyperbole of others and requiring interviewers to submit copy for her approval (Burdick 5).

In April 1934, Fox's Stand Up and Cheer! became Temple's breakthrough film. Her performance was refreshing in comparison with her drab cinematic surroundings and the lackluster performances of her adult costars. Fox became aware of her charisma while the film was in production and began promoting Temple well before the film's release. She was billed third, preparing critics and film goers to give her their undivided attention. Within months, she represented wholesome family entertainment.[30] Stand Up and Cheer! brought her critical acclaim and truckloads of fan mail.[31] Her salary was raised to US$1,250 a week, and her mother's to $150 as coach and hairdresser.[32] In June, Temple garnered more critical and popular acclaim for her performance in Paramount's Little Miss Marker.[33][34]

She finished 1934 with the December 28 release of Bright Eyes—the first feature film crafted specifically for her talents and the first in which her name was raised above the title.[35][36] In the film's one musical number, she introduced what would become her signature song, On the Good Ship Lollipop. The song was an instant hit and sold 500,000 sheet music copies. The film (more than any other Temple film up to that time) demonstrated her ability to portray a fully dimensional character and established a formula for future roles of a lovable, parentless waif mellowing a gruff older man.[37]

In February 1935, Temple received a special miniature Oscar statuette in recognition of her contributions to film entertainment in 1934.[38][39][40][note 4] A month later, she added her foot and hand prints to the forecourt at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.[41]

Twentieth Century-Fox

In 1934, Fox Films faced serious financial difficulties and merged with producer Darryl F. Zanuck's Twentieth Century Pictures to become Twentieth Century-Fox. Thereafter, studio head Zanuck (one of the best story minds in the film industry at the time)[42] focused his attention and resources upon cultivating Temple's superstar status. Temple was the studio's greatest asset, and, after four successful films—Stand Up and Cheer!, Little Miss Marker, Baby Take a Bow, and Bright Eyes—the public adored her.[43][note 5] The studio's top priority became developing projects, vehicles, and stories for Temple, and, to that end, the "Shirley Temple Story Development" team of nineteen writers went to work creating eleven original stories and adaptions of the classics.[44]

The nation was in the midst of the Great Depression, and, though bureaucratic schemes for relieving impoverished and suffering Americans abounded, most treated the great unwashed masses as nothing more than faceless numbers. Temple's films would propose a simple natural solution to the Great Depression's woes—open one's heart and give of oneself. On the screen, her goodness, innocence, and charm would melt the hearts of cold authority figures like military officers, corporation heads, and orphanage matrons, and touch the lives of the grumpy, the wizened, the rich, the bratty, the miserly, and the criminal with positive results. In doing so, she was presenting them with the opportunity to give of themselves.[44]

Eleanor Roosevelt seated with Temple immediately to her left. The two are looking at each other apparently engaged in conversation.
Temple and Eleanor Roosevelt (July 1938)

Adult audiences (unable to resolve the difficulties presented them in everyday Depression era life) could enter a fantasy world in a Temple film to see all problems brought to satisfying closures by film's end. Temple films were seen as generating hope and optimism, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "It is a splendid thing that for just a fifteen cents an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles."[45][note 6]

Most Temple films were cheaply made ($200,000 or $300,000 per picture) comedy-dramas with songs and dances added, sentimental and melodramatic situations aplenty, and little in the way of production values. Her film titles are a clue to the way she was marketed—Curly Top and Dimples, and her "little" pictures such as The Little Colonel and The Littlest Rebel. Temple often played a fixer-upper, a precocious Cupid, or the good fairy in these films, reuniting her estranged parents or smoothing out the wrinkles in the romances of young couples. She was very often motherless, sometimes fatherless, and sometimes an orphan confined to a dreary asylum.[46] Elements of the traditional fairy tale were woven into her films: wholesome goodness triumphing over meanness and evil, for example, or wealth over poverty, marriage over divorce, or a booming economy over a depressed one.[47] As Temple matured into a pre-adolescent, the formula was altered slightly to encourage her naturalness, naïveté, and tomboyishness to come forth and shine while her infant innocence, which had served her well at six but was inappropriate for her tweens, was toned down.[46]

At Zanuck's request, Temple's parents agreed to four films a year from their daughter (rather than the three they wished), and the child star's contract was reworked with bonuses to sweeten the deal. A succession of films followed: The Little Colonel, Our Little Girl, Curly Top, and The Littlest Rebel in 1935. Curly Top and The Littlest Rebel were named to Variety's list of top box office draws for 1935.[48] In 1936, Captain January, Poor Little Rich Girl, Dimples,[note 7] and Stowaway were released.

Based on Temple's many screen successes, Zanuck decided to increase budgets and production values for her films. In 1937, John Ford[note 8] was hired to direct the sepia-toned Wee Willie Winkie (Temple's own favorite)[49] and a top-drawer cast was secured that included Victor McLaglen, C. Aubrey Smith, and Cesar Romero.[49][50] The film was a critical and commercial hit,[49] but British film critic Graham Greene muddied the waters in October 1937 when he wrote in a British magazine that Temple was a "complete totsy" and accused her of being too nubile for a nine-year-old:

Her admirers—middle-aged men and clergymen—respond to her dubious coquetry, to the sight of her well-shaped and desirable little body, packed with enormous vitality, only because the safety curtain of story and dialogue drops between their intelligence and their desire.[51]

Temple and Twentieth Century-Fox sued for libel and won. The settlement remained in trust for Temple in England until she turned twenty-one, at which time it was used to build a youth center in England.[52][53]

The only other Temple film released in 1937 was Heidi, a story suited to her maturing personality.[52] Her blond hair had darkened to ash blond and the ringlets brushed back into soft curls. Her theatrical instincts had sharpened and she suggested the Dutch song and dance dream sequence and its placement within the film.[54] After minor disagreements about the dance steps with the other children in the scene, director Allan Dwan had badges made with 'Shirley Temple Police' inscribed upon them. Every child was issued one after swearing allegiance and obedience to Temple.[55]

In 1938, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Little Miss Broadway, and Just Around the Corner were released. The latter two were critical duds with Corner the first Temple film to falter at the box office.[56] The following year, Zanuck secured the rights to the children's novel, A Little Princess, believing the book would be an ideal vehicle for Temple. He budgeted the film at $1.5 million (twice the amount of Corner) and chose it to be her first Technicolor feature. The Little Princess was a 1939 critical and commercial success with Temple's acting at its peak. Convinced Temple would make the transition from child star to teenage actress,[57] Zanuck declined a substantial offer from MGM to star Temple as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and cast her instead in the banal Susannah of the Mounties, her last money-maker for Twentieth Century-Fox.[58][59] The film dropped Temple from number one box-office favorite in 1938 to number five in 1939.[60]

In 1940, Temple starred in two consecutive flops at Twentieth Century-Fox (The Blue Bird and Young People).[note 9] Times had changed with the advent of World War II. The breezy, flippant escapist films of the 1930s had given place to serious fare reflecting the anxiety Americans felt as they were drawn into a cataclysmic war. A fairy tale film about a selfish, pouting girl could not have been more inappropriate.[61] Zanuck preferred to disassociate himself and the studio from a child star whose career was clearly finished.[62] Temple's parents were furious but bought up the remainder of her contract in 1940 and sent her at the age of twelve to Westlake School for Girls, an exclusive and pricey country day school in Los Angeles.[63] At the studio, Temple's bungalow was renovated, all traces of her tenure expunged, and the building reassigned as an office complex.[62]

Last films and retirement

Within a year of her departure from Twentieth Century-Fox,[note 10] MGM signed Temple for her comeback. Plans were made to team her with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney for the Andy Hardy series, but her comeback film became Kathleen (1941), a story about an unhappy teenager, her busy, rich Dad, and her female psychologist. The film flopped and her MGM contract was cancelled after mutual consent. Miss Annie Rooney (1942, United Artists) followed, but it bombed.[note 11] The actress retired for almost two years from films, throwing herself into school life and activities.[64]

In 1944, David O. Selznick signed Temple to a personal four-year contract. She appeared in two wartime hits for him: Since You Went Away and I'll Be Seeing You. Selznick however became involved with Jennifer Jones and lost interest in developing Temple's career. She was loaned-out to other studios with Kiss and Tell (1945, Columbia), The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947, RKO),[note 12] and Fort Apache (1948, RKO) being the few good films among a string of duds.[65]

Although her 1947–9 films did not lose money, most had a cheap B look about them and her performances were colorless and apathetic.[66] Selznick suggested she move to Italy with her daughter, study the culture, gain maturity as an actress, and even change her name.[66][67] He made it clear she had been detrimentally typecast in Hollywood and her career was in perilous straits.[66] After auditioning (and being rejected) in August 1950 for the role of Peter Pan on the Broadway stage,[68] Temple took stock, admitted her recent movies had been poor fare, and announced her official retirement from films on December 16, 1950—the same day she married Charles Alden Black.[66][69]

Temple-related merchandise and endorsements

Many Temple-inspired products were manufactured and released during the 1930s. Ideal Toy and Novelty Company in New York City negotiated a license for dolls with the company's first doll wearing the polka-dot dress from Stand Up and Cheer!. Shirley Temple dolls realized $45 million in sales before 1941.[70]

A mug, a pitcher, and a cereal bowl in cobalt blue with a decal of Temple were given away as a premium with Wheaties. Successfully-selling Temple items included a line of girls' dresses and accessories, soap, dishes, cutout books, sheet music, mirrors, paper tablets, and numerous other items. Before 1935 ended, Temple's income from licensed merchandise royalties would exceed $100,000, doubling her income from her movies. In 1936, her income would top $200,000 from royalties. She endorsed Postal Telegraph, Sperry Drifted Snow Flour, the Grunow Teledial radio, Quaker Puffed Wheat,[70] General Electric, and Packard automobiles.[37][note 13]

Marriages and children

In 1943, Temple met John George Agar (January 31, 1921, Chicago, Illinois – April 7, 2002 Burbank, California), an Army Air Corps sergeant, physical training instructor, and scion of a Chicago meat-packing family.[71][72] Two years later on September 19, 1945, at 8:59 p.m., they were married before Pastor Willsie Martin and five hundred guests in a twelve-minute, double-ring Episcopal ceremony at Wilshire Methodist Church.[28][73][74] Two and a half years later on January 30, 1948, Temple gave birth to a daughter, Linda Susan.[28][75][76]

Agar entered the acting profession and the couple made two films together: Fort Apache (1948, RKO) and Adventure in Baltimore (1949, RKO).[76] In time, Agar tired of being 'Mr. Shirley Temple', and began drinking.[76][77] Temple divorced Agar on the grounds of mental cruelty December 5, 1949,[37][76] and, in the process, received custody of their daughter and the restoration of her maiden name.[76][78][79]

While vacationing in Hawaii in January 1950, Temple met thirty-year-old WWII Naval hero and Assistant to the President of Hawaiian Pineapple, Charles Alden Black (March 6, 1919, Oakland, California – August 4, 2005, Woodside, California).[80][81][note 14] Following a romance that lasted almost a year, Temple wed Black in his parents' Del Monte, California home on December 16, 1950, at 4:30 p.m. before Superior Court Judge Henry G. Jorgensen and a small assembly of family and friends.[28][81][82] The family relocated to Washington, D.C. when Black was recalled to the Navy at the outbreak of the Korean War.[83] Temple Black gave birth by Caesarean section to a son, Charles Alden Black, Jr., at the Bethesda Naval Hospital on April 28, 1952.[28][84][85]

Following war's end and Black's discharge from the Navy, the family returned to California in May 1953. Black managed television station KABC-TV in Los Angeles, and Temple Black became a homemaker. Their daughter Lori was born at the Santa Monica Hospital on April 9, 1954.[28] In September 1954, Black became director of business operations for the Stanford Research Institute and the family moved to Atherton, California.[86]


Temple returned to show biz in January 1958 with a one-season television anthology series of live-action fairy tale adaptations called Shirley Temple's Storybook.[87] Temple opened each episode before a background of draperies and chandeliers dressed in a Don Loper ballgown (a different one for each show and none costing less than $600) singing "Dreams Are Made for Children" by David Mack and Jerry Livingston. She narrated the episodes in a singsong voice and acted in three of them.[88][89] All three of Temple's children made their acting debuts on the show in the episode "Mother Goose", but none pursued acting careers later in life.[90][91][note 15] The show attracted celebrity performers such as Claire Bloom and Charlton Heston.[92] The show was a great success with one critic declaring Temple could, if she wished, "steal Christmas from Tiny Tim".[91]

Motivated by the popularity of Storybook, Temple persuaded the Ideal Toy Company to release a new version of the Shirley Temple doll,[note 16] made a deal with clothing manufacturer Rosenau Brothers to issue a version of the Baby Take a Bow polka-dot dress, and arranged with Random House to publish three anthologies of fairy tales under her name.[91]

Although the show was popular, it faced problems. Each episode was presented as a special in no particular time-slot and consequently the show had difficulty generating a following. Temple's acting was criticized, story adaptations were found wanting, sets were considered little better than those in high school productions, and the series lacked the magic of special effects.[93] After its January to December 1958 season, the show was reworked, retitled The Shirley Temple Show, and returned to television in September 1960.[94][95] Unlike Storybook, the revised edition was broadcast in color every Sunday evening in a regular time-slot but it faced stiff competition from a popular western and eventually a Disney program. The show became the victim of the ratings race and was cancelled after its one season.[96]

In other television, Temple made guest appearances on The Red Skelton Show, Sing Along with Mitch, The Dinah Shore Show, and The Mike Douglas Show.[97] In January 1965, she portrayed a social worker in a sitcom pilot called Go Fight City Hall that was never released.[98] In 1999, she hosted the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars awards show on CBS, and, in 2001, served as a consultant on an ABC-TV production of her autobiography, Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story.

Life after Hollywood

Head shot of Temple Black as an adult. She is smiling and wearing a top and beaded necklace, both red and black.
Shirley Temple Black, United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia (1990)

Following her venture into television, Temple Black became active in the Republican Party in California, where, in 1967, she ran unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives,[99][100] losing to Pete McCloskey.[101]

In the autumn of 1972, Temple Black was diagnosed with breast cancer. The tumor was malignant and removed, and a modified radical mastectomy performed. Following the operation, she announced it to the world via radio, television, and a February 1973 article for the magazine McCall's. In doing so, she became one of the first prominent women to speak openly about breast cancer.[102]

Temple Black was appointed Representative to the 24th General Assembly of the United Nations by President Richard M. Nixon (1969–70),[103][104] and was appointed United States Ambassador to Ghana (December 6, 1974 – July 13, 1976) by President Gerald R. Ford.[105] She was appointed first female Chief of Protocol of the United States (July 1, 1976 – January 21, 1977), and was in charge of arrangements for President Jimmy Carter's inauguration and inaugural ball.[105][106] She was appointed by President George H. W. Bush as United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia (August 23, 1989 – July 12, 1992).[37]

Temple Black has served on numerous boards of directors of large enterprises and organizations including The Walt Disney Company, Del Monte, Bank of America, the Bank of California, BANCAL Tri-State, Fireman's Fund Insurance, the United States Commission for UNESCO, the United Nations Association, and the National Wildlife Federation.[107]

Awards and honors

Temple is the recipient of many awards and honors including a special Academy Award,[28] the Life Achievement Award from the American Center of Films for Children,[105] the National Board of Review Career Achievement Award,[108] Kennedy Center Honors,[109][110] and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.[111] In 2002, a life-size bronze statue of the child Temple was erected on the Fox lot.[112]

Parodies and allusions

On stage, Curly McDimple, a show with music and lyrics by Robert Dahdah, opened in 1967 in New York. The musical was about Hollywood in the 1930s and parodied Temple and other stars of the era. Bayn Johnson portrayed Temple, and a cast album and a boxed paper doll were released.[113]

On television, two episodes of the Madeline animated series featured a child star "Sugar Dimples", a thinly veiled reference to the actress. Temple was parodied in two episodes of The Simpsons. In "Treehouse of Horror III", she was seen in a brief cameo singing "On the Good Ship Lollipop" before being eaten by a parody of another 1930s icon, King Kong. The second episode, "Last Tap Dance in Springfield" features a former child star turned dance instructor, "Little Vicky Valentine", along with several references to Temple's films and songs.

In films, the 1997 movie Tower of Terror featured "Sally Shine", a 1930s child actress who was killed in an elevator on Halloween of 1939 along with four others. Sally's dress and hairstyle suggest Temple. The character had a line of dolls based on her likeness, a parallel to the real life Shirley. That same year, the animated film Cats Don't Dance featured a character named "Darla Dimple", who was an amalgam of precocious child stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

She was briefly mentioned in the Princess Superstar song "Welcome to My World" with the line Okay, I'm the black Shirley Temple. American Rock Band Stone Temple Pilots was briefly named Shirley Temple's Pussy around 1991, after their label informed them that the name Mighty Joe Young was already being claimed by Blues Musician Joseph Young. After subsequent pressure from their label to change their name again to something more socially acceptable, the band decided to retain the abbreviation STP and changed the words to Stone Temple Pilots in 1992.



  1. ^ While Temple occasionally used Jane as a middle name, her birth certificate reads "Shirley Temple". Temple's birth certificate was altered to prolong her babyhood shortly after she signed with Fox in 1934; her birth year was advanced from 1928 to 1929. Even her baby book was revised to support the 1929 date. She admitted her real age when she was twenty-one (Burdick 5;Edwards 23n,43n).
  2. ^ According to Hal Roach, Temple was rejected by his casting director several times for the Our Gang shorts. In her autobiography, Temple Black denies auditioning for the shorts (Black 12).
  3. ^ Temple described the Baby Burlesks as "a cynical exploitation of our childish innocence" and noted the films were sometimes racist or sexist (Black 14).
  4. ^ Temple was presented with a full-sized Oscar in 1985 (Edwards 357).
  5. ^ In keeping with her star status, Winfield Sheehan, head of Fox Films before the merge, had built Temple a four-room bungalow at the studio with a garden, a picket fence, a tree with a swing, and a rabbit pen. The living room wall was painted with a mural depicting Temple as a fairy tale princess wearing a golden star on her head. Under Zanuck, Temple was assigned a bodyguard, John Griffith, a childhood friend of Zanuck's (Edwards 77), and, at the end of 1935, Frances "Klammie" Klampt became Temple's tutor at the studio (Edwards 78).
  6. ^ Temple and her parents traveled to Washington, D.C. late in 1935 to meet President Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor. The presidential couple invited the Temple family to a cook-out at their home in Hyde Park, New York where Eleanor, bending over an outdoor grill, was hit smartly in the rear with a pebble from the slingshot Temple carried everywhere in her little lace purse (Edwards 81).
  7. ^ In Dimples, Temple was upstaged for the first time in her film career by Frank Morgan who played Professor Appleby with such zest as to render Temple almost the amateur (Windeler 175).
  8. ^ Temple and Ford had a wonderful working relationship and remained friends until Ford's death. Ford became godfather to Temple's daughter Susan (Windeler 183).
  9. ^ Young People was so weak, it was often billed as the second feature in many theaters (Burdick 268).
  10. ^ In 1941, Temple worked radio with four shows for Lux soap and a four-part Shirley Temple Time for Elgin. Of radio she said, "It's adorable. I get a big thrill out of it, and I want to do as much radio work as I can." (Windeler 43)
  11. ^ Temple received a much ballyhooed first on-screen kiss in the film (from Dickie Moore, on the cheek) (Edwards 136).
  12. ^ Temple took her first on-screen drink (and spit it out) in Bobby-Soxer. The Women's Christian Temperance Union protested that unthinking teenagers might do the same after seeing Temple in the film (Life Staff 140).
  13. ^ In the 1990s, audio recordings of Temple's film songs and videos of her films were released with Temple receiving no profits. Dolls continued to be released as well as porcelain dolls authorized by Temple Black and created by Elke Hutchens. The Danbury Mint released plates and figurines depicting Temple in her film roles, and, in 2000, a porcelain tea set (Burdick 136)
  14. ^ Black had been awarded the United States Navy Silver Star and had been cited twice for valor. Conservative and patrician, Black was reputedly one of the richest young men in California, being the son of James B. Black, the president and later chairman of the largest private utility company in the world, Pacific Gas and Electric (Windeler 72).
  15. ^ During a rehearsal for "Mother Goose", a stagehand said "shit" and Temple had him fired, explaining to the stunned cast that the show was for children—although no children were present during the rehearsal (Windeler 256).
  16. ^ Her personal appearance to promote and autograph the dolls at Macy's New York store became a near riot (Edwards 233).
  1. ^ Balio 227
  2. ^ Windeler 26
  3. ^ Black 5
  4. ^ Edwards 24
  5. ^ Edwards 27
  6. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named EdwardsP23; see Help:Cite error.
  7. ^ Burdick 5
  8. ^ Edwards 29–30
  9. ^ Windeler 17
  10. ^ a b c d Burdick 6
  11. ^ Edwards 26
  12. ^ Black 14
  13. ^ Edwards 31–4
  14. ^ a b Windeler 111
  15. ^ a b c d e f Burdick 7
  16. ^ Black 13
  17. ^ Edwards 34–5
  18. ^ Burdick 11
  19. ^ Windeler 115,122
  20. ^ Windeler 113
  21. ^ Black 15
  22. ^ Edwards 36
  23. ^ Black 28
  24. ^ Edwards 37,366
  25. ^ Edwards 267–9
  26. ^ Windeler 122
  27. ^ Black 31
  28. ^ a b c d e f g Edwards 355
  29. ^ Edwards 370–4
  30. ^ Barrios 421
  31. ^ Windeler 19
  32. ^ Windeler 135
  33. ^ Edwards 62
  34. ^ Windeler 122,127
  35. ^ Edwards 67
  36. ^ Windeler 143
  37. ^ a b c d Thomas; Scheftel
  38. ^ Black 98–101
  39. ^ Edwards 80
  40. ^ Windeler 27–8
  41. ^ Black 72
  42. ^ Edwards 73–4
  43. ^ Edwards 74–5
  44. ^ a b Edwards 75
  45. ^ Edwards 75–6
  46. ^ a b Balio 227–8
  47. ^ Zipes 518
  48. ^ Balio 228
  49. ^ a b c Windeler 183
  50. ^ Edwards 104–5
  51. ^ Edwards 105,363
  52. ^ a b Edwards 106
  53. ^ Windeler 35
  54. ^ Edwards 107
  55. ^ Edwards 111
  56. ^ Edwards 120–1
  57. ^ Edwards 122-3
  58. ^ Edwards 123
  59. ^ Windeler 207
  60. ^ Edwards 124
  61. ^ Edwards 124–5
  62. ^ a b Edwards 128
  63. ^ Windeler 38
  64. ^ Windeler 43–5
  65. ^ Windeler 49,51–2
  66. ^ a b c d Windeler 71
  67. ^ Edwards 206
  68. ^ Edwards 209
  69. ^ Black 479–81
  70. ^ a b Black 85–6
  71. ^ Edwards 147
  72. ^ Windeler 53
  73. ^ Edwards 169
  74. ^ Windeler 54
  75. ^ Black 419–21
  76. ^ a b c d e Windeler 68
  77. ^ Edwards 199–200
  78. ^ Black 449
  79. ^ Edwards 199
  80. ^ Edwards 207
  81. ^ a b Windeler 72
  82. ^ Edwards 211
  83. ^ Edwards 215
  84. ^ Edwards 217
  85. ^ Windeler 72–3
  86. ^ Windeler 74
  87. ^ Edwards 231,393
  88. ^ Edwards 231
  89. ^ Windeler 255
  90. ^ Windeler 255–6
  91. ^ a b c Edwards 233
  92. ^ Windeler 254–6
  93. ^ Burdick 112-3
  94. ^ Edwards 235,393
  95. ^ Burdick 115
  96. ^ Burdick 115-6
  97. ^ Edwards 393
  98. ^ Edwards 235–6,393
  99. ^ Edwards 243ff
  100. ^ Windeler 80ff
  101. ^ Sean Howell (Wednesday, July 1, 2009). "Documentary salutes Pete McCloskey". The Almanac Online. Embarcadero Publishing Co.. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  102. ^ Windeler 96–7
  103. ^ Edwards 356
  104. ^ Windeler 85
  105. ^ a b c Edwards 357
  106. ^ Windeler 105
  107. ^ Edwards 318,356–7
  108. ^ "Shirley Temple Black". The National Board of Review. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  109. ^ "History of Past Honorees". The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  110. ^ Burdick 136
  111. ^ "Shirley Temple Black: 2005 Life Achievement Recipient". Screen Actors Guild. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  112. ^ "The Shirley Temple Monument". Nijart. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  113. ^ Burdick 122
Works cited
  • Balio, Tino (1995) [1993]. Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise, 1930–1939. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-20334-8. 
  • Barrios, Richard (1995). A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508810-7. 
  • Black, Shirley Temple (1989) [1988]. Child Star: An Autobiography. Warner Books, Inc.. ISBN 0-446-35792-8. 
  • Burdick, Loraine (2003). The Shirley Temple Scapbook. Jonathan David Publishers, Inc.. ISBN 0-8246-0449-0. 
  • Edwards, Anne (1988). Shirley Temple: American Princess. William Morrow and Company, Inc.. 
  • Life Staff (09-16-1946). "Tempest Over Temple: Shirley sips liquor and the W.C.T.U. protests". Life 21 (12): 140. 
  • Thomas, Andy; Scheftel, Jeff (1996), Shirley Temple: The Biggest Little Star, Biography, A&E Television Networks, ISBN 0-7670-8495-0 
  • Windeler, Robert (1992) [1978]. The Films of Shirley Temple. Carol Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8065-0725-X. 
  • Zipes, Jack, ed (2000). The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-965-36357-0. 
  • Bogle, Donald (2001) [1974]. Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films. The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc.. pp. 45–52. ISBN 0-8264-1276-X. 
  • Cook, James W.; Glickman, Lawrence B.; O'Malley, Michael (2008). The Cultural Turn in U.S. History: Past, Present, and Future. University of Chicago Press. pp. 186ff. ISBN 978-0-226-11506-1. 
  • Basinger, Jeanine (1993). A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930–1960. Wesleyan University Press. pp. 262ff. 
  • Everett, Charles (2004). "Shirley Temple and the House of Rockefeller". Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media (2): 1,17-20. 
  • Thomson, Rosemarie Garland, ed (1996). Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body. New York University Press. pp. 185–203. ISBN 0-8147-8217-5. 

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Academy Juvenile Award
Succeeded by
Deanna Durbin and Mickey Rooney
Preceded by
Walt Disney
Academy Honorary Award
Succeeded by
D. W. Griffith
Preceded by
James Garner
Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award
Succeeded by
Julie Andrews
Political offices
Preceded by
Fred L. Hadsel
United States Ambassador to Ghana
Succeeded by
Robert P. Smith
Preceded by
Henry E. Catto, Jr.
Chief of Protocol of the United States
Succeeded by
Evan Dobelle
Preceded by
Julian Niemczyk
United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia
Succeeded by
Adrian A. Basora


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Shirley Jane Temple (born 1928-04-23), later known as Shirley Temple Black, is a former child actress. She starred in over 40 films during the 1930s. She is now a diplomat.


  • I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.
  • Nonsense, all of it. Sunnybrook Farm is now a parking lot; the petticoats are in the garbage can, where they belong in the modern world; and I detest censorship.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary






Named after Shirley Temple, famous child actress from the 1920s to 1940s.

Proper noun

Shirley Temple

  1. A non-alcoholic cocktail traditionally made with ginger ale, grenadine syrup, and orange juice garnished with a maraschino cherry and slice of lemon. The ginger ale is commonly substituted with 7-up, Sprite, or similar lemon-lime soft drink, and the orange juice is commonly left out.

See also

Simple English

Shirley Temple
Born Shirley Jane Temple
April 23, 1928 (1928-04-23) (age 82)
Santa Monica, California, United States
Other names Shirley Temple Black
Years active 1932–1961
Spouse John Agar (1945–1950, divorced, 1 child)
Charles Alden Black (1950–2005, his death, 2 children)
Children Linda Susan Agar (b. 1948)
Charles Black Jr (b. 1952) and Lori Black (b. 1954).

Shirley Jane Temple (born April 23, 1928) is an Academy Award-winning actress and dancer, most well known for being an American child actress of the 1930s, who also had a notable career as a diplomat as an adult. After becoming famous at the age of six with her role in Bright Eyes in 1934, she starred in many films that did very well, which made her well known to the public. She was also in films as a young adult in the 1940s. In later life, she became a United States ambassador and diplomat.

Other websites

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