By Jueseppi B.
(Reuters) – Shirley Temple Black, who lifted America’s spirits as a bright-eyed, dimpled child movie star during the Great Depression and later became a U.S. diplomat, died late on Monday evening at the age of 85, her family said in a statement.
Temple Black, who lured millions to the movies in the 1930s, “peacefully passed away” at her Woodside, Calif., home from natural causes at 10:57 p.m. local time (0157 ET), surrounded by her family and caregivers, the statement said on Tuesday.
“We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and adored wife of fifty-five years,” the statement said.
As actress Shirley Temple, she was precocious, bouncy and adorable with a head of curly hair, tap-dancing through songs like “On The Good Ship Lollipop.” As Ambassador Shirley Temple Black, she was soft-spoken and earnest in postings in Czechoslovakia and Ghana, out to disprove concerns that her previous career made her a diplomatic lightweight.
“I have no trouble being taken seriously as a woman and a diplomat here,” Black said after her appointment as U.S. ambassador to Ghana in 1974. “My only problems have been with Americans who, in the beginning, refused to believe I had grown up since my movies.”
Black, born April 23, 1928, started her entertainment career in the early 1930s and was famous by age 6. She became a national institution and her raging popularity spawned look-alike dolls, dresses and dozens of other Shirley Temple novelties as she became one of the first stars to enjoy the fruits of the growing marketing mentality.
Shirley was 3 when her mother put her in dance school, where a talent scout spotted her and got her in “Baby Burlesk,” a series of short movies with child actors spoofing adult movies.
Movie studio executives took notice. In 1934 she appeared in the film “Stand Up and Cheer!“, and her song and dance number in “Baby Take a Bow” stole the show. Other movies in that year included “Little Miss Marker” and “Bright Eyes” – which featured her signature song “On the Good Ship Lollipop” – and in 1935 she received a special Oscar for her “outstanding contribution to screen entertainment.”
She made some 40 feature movies, including “The Little Colonel,” “Poor Little Rich Girl,” “Heidi” and “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,” in 10 years, starring with big-name actors like Randolph Scott, Lionel Barrymore and Jimmy Durante.
Shirley was a superstar before the term was invented. She said she was about 8 when adoring crowds shouting their love for her made her realize she was famous.
“I wondered why,” she recalled. “I asked my mother and she said, ‘Because your films make them happy.'”
She was such a money-maker that her mother – who would always tell her “Sparkle, Shirley!” before she appeared before an audience – and studio officials shaved a year off her age to maintain her child image.
Her child career came to an end at age 12. She tried a few roles as a teenager – including opposite future president Ronald Reagan in “That Hagen Girl” – but retired from the screen in 1949 at age 21.
The Screen Actors Guild gave her its 2005 Life Achievement Award, and in her acceptance speech posted on the group’s website, she said: “I have one piece of advice for those of you who want to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award: start early!”
POLITICS AND DIPLOMACY
Temple was only 17 in 1945 when she married for the first time to John Agar, who would eventually appear with her in two movies. Their five-year marriage produced a daughter.
In 1950 she wed Charles Black in a marriage that lasted until his death in 2005. She and Black had two children.
Black’s interest in politics was sparked in the early ’50s when her husband was called back into the Navy to work in Washington.
She did volunteer work for the Republican Party while attempting to make a comeback with two short-lived TV series, “Shirley Temple’s Storybook” in 1959 and “The Shirley Temple Theater” a year later.
Seven years after that she ran unsuccessfully for Congress in California but stayed in politics, helping raise more than $2 million for Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign.
She was later named to the United States’ team to the United Nations and found that the her childhood popularity was an asset in her new career.
“Having been a film star can be very helpful on an international basis,” Black once said. “Many people consider me an old friend.”
Sometimes the public found it hard to accept her in diplomatic roles. But in 1989 she pointed out her 20 years in public service were more than the 19 she spent in Hollywood.
In 1974, Ford appointed Black ambassador to Ghana and two years later made her chief of protocol. For the next decade she trained newly appointment ambassadors at the request of the State Department.
In 1989, President George H.W. Bush made Black ambassador to Prague – a sensitive Eastern European post normally reserved for career diplomats. Black had been in Prague in 1968, representing a group fighting multiple sclerosis at a conference, when Soviet-bloc tanks entered to crush an era of liberalization known as the “Prague Spring.”
President Gustav Husak did not seem daunted by the prospect of a U.S. ambassador who had witnessed the invasion. He told her that he had been a fan of “Shirleyka.”
In 1972, Black was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. She publicly discussed her surgery to educate women about the disease.
Black is survived by her children, Susan, Charlie Jr., and Lori, her granddaughter Teresa and her great-granddaughters Lily and Emma, the family statement said. It said private funeral arrangements were pending.
Thank you Reuters.
Dorothy Dell Shirley Temple Little Miss Marker Song
Published on Nov 18, 2013
Dorothy Dell and Shirley Temple sing “Laugh You Son Of A Gun” in the 1934 film Little Miss Marker.
Little Miss Marker 1934
Shirley Temple Black (born Shirley Temple; April 23, 1928 – February 10, 2014) was an American film and television actress, singer, dancer, and one-time U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. She also served as Chief of Protocol of the United States, 1976–1977.
Temple began her film career in 1932 at the age of three and, in 1934, found international fame in Bright Eyes, a feature film designed specifically for her talents. She received a special Juvenile Academy Award in February 1935 for her outstanding contribution as a juvenile performer to motion pictures during 1934, and film 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. Her box office popularity waned as she reached adolescence, and she left the film industry in her teens. She appeared in a few films of varying quality in her mid-to-late teens, and retired completely from films in 1950 at the age of 22. She was the top box-office draw four years in a row (1935–38) in a Motion Picture Heraldpoll.
Temple returned to show business in 1958 with a two-season television anthology series of fairy tale adaptations. She made guest appearances on television shows in the early 1960s and filmed a sitcom pilot that was never released. She sat on the boards of corporations and organizations including The Walt Disney Company, Del Monte Foods, and the National Wildlife Federation. In 1988, she published her autobiography, Child Star. Temple was the recipient of awards and honors including Kennedy Center Honors and a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.
Temple ranks 18th on the American Film Institute‘s list of the greatest female American screen legends of all time.
16-year-old Temple in 1944 in Ottawa at a ceremony to raise
money for Canadian Victory bonds
April 23, 1928
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Died||February 10, 2014(aged 85)
Woodside, California, U.S.
|Other names||Shirley Jane Temple|
|Education||Tutors, private high school|
|Alma mater||Westlake School for Girls(1940–45)|
|Occupation||Film actress (1932–50)
Public servant (1969–92)
|Years active||1932–65 (as actress)
1967–90 (as public servant)
|Known for||Juvenile film roles|
|Notable work(s)||Bright Eyes, The Little Colonel,|
|Television||Shirley Temple’s Storybook,|
|Spouse(s)||John Agar(m. 1945; div. 1950)
Charles Alden Black
(m. 1950; wid. 2005)
|Awards||Academy Juvenile Award
Kennedy Center Honors
Screen Actors Guild Life
- 1 Early years
- 2 Fox films
- 3 Twentieth Century Fox
- 4 Last films and retirement
- 5 Temple-related merchandise and endorsements
- 6 Marriages and children
- 7 Television
- 8 Life after Hollywood
- 9 Death
- 10 Awards and honors
- 11 Filmography
- 12 References
Following her venture into television, Temple became active in the Republican Party in California. In 1967, she ran unsuccessfully in a special election in California’s 11th congressional district to fill the seat left vacant by the death of eight-term Republican J. Arthur Younger from leukemia. She ran as a conservative and lost to law school professor Pete McCloskey, a liberal Republican who was a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War.
She was appointed Representative to the 24th United Nations General Assembly by President Richard M. Nixon(September – December 1969), and was appointed United States Ambassador to Ghana (December 6, 1974 – July 13, 1976) by President Gerald R. Ford. 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. She served as the United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia (August 23, 1989 – July 12, 1992), having been appointed by President George H. W. Bush.
In 1972, Temple was diagnosed with breast cancer. The tumor was 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.
Shirley Temple died of natural causes on February 10, 2014 at the age of 85. She was at her home in Woodside, California, surrounded by family and caregivers.
Awards and honors
Temple was the recipient of many awards and honors including a special Juvenile Academy Award, the Life Achievement Award from the American Center of Films for Children, the National Board of Review Career Achievement Award, Kennedy Center Honors, and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. On September 11, 2002, a life-size bronze statue of the child Temple by sculptor Nijel Binns was erected on the Fox Studio lot.
On March 14, 1935, Temple left her footprints and handprints in the wet cement at the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
On February 8, 1960, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in films.
|27th United States Ambassador|
August 23, 1989 – July 12, 1992
|President||George H. W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Julian Niemczyk|
|Succeeded by||Adrian A. Basora|
|9th United States Ambassador to Ghana|
December 6, 1974 – July 13, 1976
|Preceded by||Fred L. Hadsel|
|Succeeded by||Robert P. Smith|
|Born||Shirley Temple Black|
The Little Princess