Shirley Temple was only 5 years old when she appeared in her first film. she spent her childhood as an actress, singer, and dancer, creating a style that was uniquely her own. she was multi-talented young woman who broke box office records, even in the midst of the Great Depression, and was awarded an honorary Oscar at the 7th Annual Academy Awards (yes, they even made it pint sized for the then-seven year old).
she was fearless in her attitude, and genuine in her performances; it is well known that her parents were supportive, not domineering; and it is noted by all that worked with her that she always wore her signature dimpled smile, both on and off screen.
how could America have not fallen in love with her?
we love lots of her infectious and fun movies; one favorite is The Little Colonel, that gifted us with lots of great scenes, inclusing that famous staircase song-and-dance number by her and one of her favorite dance partners (and real-life companion) Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. another one that we love to watch over and over again is Just Around the Corner, with sweet comedy, a great story about a little girl and her beloved father, and of course more great songs and dancing.
as the child star grew out of her fame, she gracefully stepped away from show business. Shirley was married at 17 and had her first daughter, and after a rocky marriage, divorced four years later. she later married Charles Black, with whom she had two more children and was married to until his death in 2005. she kept busy after her hollywood career, and worked as a United Nations Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.
she also battled breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy in 1972; at a time when these matters were kept under wraps, Shirley used her fame to go public with her battle; in doing so she played an important role in modernizing health for women, sending a message that we have the right to speak out, be brave, and confront personal battles to better ourselves. talk about girl power!
Shirley Temple passed away peacefully at her California home on February 10, 2014; but this talented and unique woman will continue to inspire and enchant us with her bright and cheerful hollywood legacy.