Classic Movie Hub (CMH)
 
 

Job Film actress *(1932-50) * TV actress/entertainer *(1958-65) * Public servant *(1969-92)
Years active 1932-65 (as actress) * 1967-92 (as public servant)
Top Roles Sara Crewe, Herself, Corliss Archer, Rebecca Winstead, Susan
Top GenresDrama, Comedy, Family, Musical, Romance, Short Films
Top TopicsChildren, Christmas, Father Daughter
Top Collaborators (Producer), (Director), (Producer), (Director)
Shares birthday with Simone Simon, Frank Borzage, Ronald Neame  see more..

Shirley Temple Overview:

Legendary actress, Shirley Temple, was born Shirley Jane Temple on Apr 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, CA. Temple died at the age of 85 on Feb 10, 2014 in Woodside, CA .

Early Life

Shirley Jane Temple was born On April 28, 1928 in Santa Monica, California. Born a golly baby, she quickly took to singing, dancing, and acting despite coming from non-show business family. Seeing her daughters potential, Temples mother enrolled her daughter for lessons at the Meglin's Dance School in Los Angeles in 1931. At this time, Temple's mother also began to craft her daughter's now legendary image by styling Shirley's hair in neat, curly ringlets modeled after America's Sweetheart, Mary Pickford. It would take no time at all for Temple to be noticed by a talent scout from Educational Studios and before Temple turning the age of five, she entered a contract with Educational Pictures.

Early Career

The studio immediately cast Temple in a series of shorts called Baby Burlesks. The series satirized and spoofed Hollywood features by casting toddlers as adults and soon audiences were impressed with Temple's impressions of stars like Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. Taking note of the younger's natural appeal on camera, the studio again cast her a series of short two-reel films, this time in Frolics of Youth as Mary Lou Rogers, the precious young daughter of delightful suburban family. The fledgling studio also had Temple model for multiple paid endorsements in order to generate fast revenue from their biggest, little star. Temple was then loaned to Tower Productions for the 1932 film Red-Haired Alibi. The small role marked her first feature film. The studio continued to loan the toddler out to other studios for various small roles and with only two years in the business and five years on this earth, Temple had over 20 credits to her name. When Educational Pictures declared bankruptcy in 1933, she signed a contract with Fox Films Corporation.

Her first film for the new company was the 1934 ensemble picture Stand Up and Cheer. Although her role was a small one, the film featured first song-and-dance number: Baby Take a Bow. Audiences were charmed and Fox began to promote their new star heavily. She was loaned to Paramount Studios for next film, Little Miss Maker, which also proved successful. Soon, the youngster was making $1,250 a week. In 1934 Fox casted Temple in the film Baby Take a Bow. Although the film was meant to exploit her previous success with the number, Temple remained a supporting player in the film. Soon, however, that would all change.

Breakthrough Role

In 1934 Temple starred in Bright Eyes. In the film Temple plays the daughter of a maid working for a haughty, well-to-do family who proceed to foster the child after her mother dies. By the end of the film, Temple's naturally saccharine sweet disposition warms the heart of the family's grumpy patriarch, Uncle Ned.  The film was first to be crafted specifically for Temple, demonstrating her talents as an actress, a singer, and a dancer as well as allowing her to receive top-billing for the first time. The film also introduced what is now considered her signature song, The Good Ship Lollipop. Bright Eyes was a smash hit with critics and movie-going audiences a-like. Soon, Temples recording of The Good Ship Lollipop would sell over 500,000 copies and the actress would become the very symbol for wholesome, family entertainment. For her next film, 1935's The Little Colonel, she teamed with famed dance Bill Robinson and features their memorable dance down the staircase. Bill Robinson would become a staple in Temple's films. Later that year, Temple became the first to receive special "juvenile" Academy Award for her accomplishments at such a young age. Soon after, the 6 year old was award her hand/foot prints at Graumann's Chinese Theatre.

Superstardom

In 1935 Fox Films and Twentieth Century Pictures merged to create Twentieth Century-Fox. Studio head Darryl F. Zanuck immediately put much of his energy towards developing Temple, who was easily the studios largest asset. He assigned almost 20 writers dedicated to creating films that would not only showcase her talents but also offer the depression-era audience a spark of hope and cheer in their otherwise dreary, devastated lives. Using the success of Bright Eye's as their model, the team often cast Temple as a scrappy but lovable orphan whose tenacious attitude towards life and catchy song-and-dance numbers are able to warm even the iciest of hearts. A series of massively successful films followed, including Out Little Girl and Curly Top, which features one of Temple's most beloved numbers Animal Cracker in My Soup. She once again teamed with Bill Robinson The Littlest Rebel, which, along with Curly Top, were listed as two of highest grossing film of the year and cemented Temple's status as not only the America's number one box office attraction but a full-fledge phenomenon as well.

Any and all items Shirley Temple where in exceedingly high demand. Dolls in her likeness flew off the store shelves while movie magazines plastered her face all over their full-page spreads. Even a sweet, bubbly non-alcoholic drink was named in her honor. Temple's films were seen as a much-needed escape from the harsh realities of the depression and as a much-needed symbol of hope for an audience who had little to hope for. Her popularity reached such a frenzied height that even the leader of the free world, President Roosevelt, invited the young star to his Hyde Park home for a BBQ. She would release four films in 1936, Poor Little Rich Girl, Dimples, Captain January, and Stowaway, all four successful. The next year Temple teamed with veteran director John Ford for the high-budget adventure film Wee Willie Winkie. Temple has since declared this film as personal favorite. Her only film released that year was the big screen adaption of Heidi. Both films counted themselves amongst the highest grossing films that year. At this point in her career, Temple generated more money at the box-office than any other actor in Hollywood. By the late thirties, Temple was the undisputed Queen, or perhaps more apt "little princess" at the box office. However, with her box office appeal in direct relation to her youthful adorability, her reign would soon come to an end.

Decline in Appeal

Temple released three films in 1938. The first, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, was successful with both critics and audiences. Her next release, Little Miss Broadway, while successful at the box-office, was panned by the critics. Her final release of the year, Just Around the Corner, failed to charm critics and showed a noticeable drop in ticket sales, a first for the young star. In 1939, Temple starred in a lavish, big-budget adaptation of The Little Princess, her first Technicolor effort. The film was both critically and commercially successful. Although sought after to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Zanuck refused to loan out the young star. Although her next film, Susannah of the Mounties, made money at the box office, failed to meet the studios lofty expectations. That year, Temple went from the number one to the number five box-office draw. In 1940, Temple released The Blue Bird and Young People. Both films were box-office flops and shared a similar fate with the critics. Soon after, her family bought Temple out of the remainder of her contract with Fox and enrolled her in private school.

Later Films and Retirement

In 1941, MGM signed Temple in hopes of orchestrating her comeback. However, after her film for the studio, Virginia Weidler, flopped, MGM and the Temple family dissolved the contract. After the failure of her next film, 1942's Miss Annie Rooney, Temple took a two-year hiatus from the screen to concentrate on school. Temple returned in 1944 with two home-front dramas Since You Went Away and I'll Be Seeing You, billed third and forth for the first time in over 10 years. Temple continued to act under contract of David O. Selznick for the latter half of the 1940's. She starred opposite Cary Grant and Myrna Loy in the 1947 screwball comedy The Bachelor and The Bobby Soxer. The next year she again collaborated with director John Ford in Fort Apache opposite John Wayne and Henry Fonda. Despite the success of the before mentioned films, much of Temples work during this period was fairly forgettable B-picture quality films. Her final film came in 1949 with A Kiss for Corliss, her first staring role in years. Soon after, Temple announced her retirement from the movie business.

Later Life

Post-Hollywood life remained busy for Temple. She soon divorced her first husband and was remarried to Charles Black. After his discharge from the Navy, the two settled in California where Temple took time to care for her children and home. In 1958 she return to the screen, this time small, for the NBC's Shirley Temple's Storybook, featuring Temple in multiple adaption's of famous fairy tales. She continued to make guest television appearances throughout the 1960's. In 1967 Temple, an active member of the Republican Party, ran for Congress on the platform of expanding the Vietnam War. Although she lost, President Nixon would later appoint her as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations the next year.  In 1972, she took a brief hiatus from politics after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and had to undergo a radical mastectomy. In 1976 She returned to politics after being appointed United States Ambassador to Ghana by President Ford and Ambassador to Czechoslovakia in the Late 1980's and early 1990's. In 1998, Temple was rewarded the highly regarded Kennedy Center Honors. In 2006, She was awarded the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Awards. At 85, Temple is now retired from Public life and enjoying her golden years. 

(Source: article by Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub).

HONORS and AWARDS:

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She was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures. Shirley Temple's handprints and footprints were 'set in stone' at Grauman's Chinese Theater during imprint ceremony #26 on Mar 14, 1935. She appears on the cover of The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Temple was never nominated for an Academy Award. However she won one Honorary Award in 1934 in grateful recognition of her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment during the year 1934 .

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Shirley Temple Quotes:

Penelope Day: I've been sailing my boat around the island. I wanted to see where the pirates camped last night.
Jerry Day: Do you keep your boat padlocked to the dock so the pirates won't steal it?
Penelope Day: No, Uncle George keeps it padlocked so I won't sail it alone. He's afraid. You see, I didn't really sail around the island, not honor bright.
Jerry Day: Honor bright?
Penelope Day: Yes, you can only say that when it's honest-to-goodness true.
Jerry Day: Who taught you that?
Penelope Day: My mother.


Penny Hale: This is a benefit for Uncle Sam.
Reporter: Uncle Sam?
Penny Hale: Yes. Samuel G. Henshaw. He's in a bad way, you know.
Reporter: Samuel G. Henshaw is in a bad way?
Penny Hale: Yes. There's a slump, and everyone's hanging on his neck.


Queen Victoria: What is it, child?
Sara Crewe: My father, they said he died at Mafeking. But I don't believe it! He may be here with the new wounded men, but they won't let me look! If they don't, I may never have another chance. Can you make them let me look?
Queen Victoria: Colonel, will you please see that this child is escorted through the wards?
Colonel Gordon: With permission, I shall accompany her personally, Your Majesty.
Sara Crewe: What... what's your name?
Queen Victoria: Victoria. What's yours?
Sara Crewe: Sara... oh Your Majesty!
[kneels and kisses the Queen's hand]


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Shirley Temple on the
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Shirley Temple Facts
According to author Garry Wills in "John Wayne's America", director John Ford had serious issues with women, which carried over onto his sets. When he made Wee Willie Winkie (1937) with Shirley, she was a child as well as the top box office star in America and he treated her well. When she was cast in Fort Apache (1948), she was a young woman and he did not. Like her role in Wee Willie Winkie (1937), she played the "cute but unmanageable troublemaker at the post" who is befriended by and relies on an avuncular sergeant, both times played by Victor McLaglen. McLaglen had been blackballed by Ford for the previous seven years, but was brought back into the Ford stock company with this film. When Ford met Shirley, whose husband John Agar he had also cast in the picture, he rudely asked her, "Now where did you go to school, Shirley? Did you graduate?".

A close friend and supporter of Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Measurements: 35-24-35 (as an adult), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

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