2.11.2014

They don't make child stars like her anymore.



Ah, Shirley Temple. In my opinion, the only successful child star in the recorded history of child stars. Shirley started performing at the age of 3 in 1932. Fox signed her in 1934 and she did bit parts before starring in Stand Up and Cheer! and Bright Eyes, which made her a worldwide recognized star and garnered her a special Juvenile Academy Award in 1935. After making millions of dollars and starring in dozens of movies including Heidi, Curly Top and A Little Princess, Shirley formally quit Hollywood at the age of 22.






The only noticeable bump in her road was a failed first marriage to meat-packing heir John Agar at the age of 17, with whom she had a daughter. The marriage floundered, in part because of Agar's drinking (he had been arrested for drunk driving) and in part because of pressures of their high profile. Temple sued for divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty in 1949. She later went on to marry (and stay married until his death in 2005) Charles Alden Black and had two more children. Shirley got into politics in the 60's when she became active in the Republican party in California and ran for Congress. She lost, but in 1969 she served as a representative to the 24th United Nations General Assembly and in 1974 President Ford made her the US Ambassador to Ghana. She was also the US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992.
Shirley was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1972 and she had a mastectomy to remove the tumor. She went on radio and TV shows and became one of the first famous women to openly talk about breast cancer.

She is one of the most talked about child actors in history, most credited as an inspiration and opened the doors for child stars to have mainstream careers and just salaries since.
She was famously the object of Salvador Dali's painting "Shirley Temple: The youngest, most sacred monster of the cinema in her time" in 1939 which has been described "as a satire of the sexualization of child stars in Hollywood". When DalĂ­ makes you the object of his work, you know that you definitely made it, though she never talked about the painting in interviews.

Besides her Juvenile Oscar awarded to her in 1935 and a full size one awarded in 1985 by the Academy of Performing Arts & Sciences, she also won a Kennedy Center Honors award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild.

Rest in Peace, Mrs. Temple Black.

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