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Shirley Temple Biography

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Shirley Temple
Santa Monica, California

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Shirley Temple Biography

Shirley Temple was easily the most popular and famous child star of all time. She got her start in the movies at the age of three and soon progressed to super stardom. Shirley could do it all: act, sing and dance and all at the age of five! Fans loved her as she was bright, bouncy and cheerful in her films and they ultimately bought millions of dollars worth of products that had her likeness on them. Dolls, phonograph records, mugs, hats, dresses, whatever it was, if it had her picture on there they bought it. Shirley was the box-office champion for three straight years, 1936-37-38, beating out such great grown up stars as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford. By 1939, her popularity declined. Although she starred in some very good movies like Since You Went Away (1944) and the The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947), her career was nearing its end. Later, she served as an ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. It was once guessed that she had more than 50 golden curls on her head.

Shirley Temple Trivia

Charles Black the San Francisco businessman she married after divorcing John Agar admitted to her while they were courting that he had never seen any of her movies.

In recent years she openly admitted to a mastectomy operation, perhaps the first public figure ever to do so, and she encouraged other women who required the surgery to follow her example without fear.

Her daughter "Lorax" (Lori Black) was the bass player for the rock band The Melvins .

When Shirley Temple was to play the part of the Beauty, in a production of "Beauty and the Beast", she was amused when her then, very young, daughter remarked: "Gee, Mom, you'll make a swell Beast!".

She was supposed to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939), but 20th Century Fox refused to lend her to MGM, so Judy Garland was cast in the role.

When 7-year-old Shirley Temple's life was insured with Lloyd's, the contract stipulated that no benefits would be paid if the child film star met with death or injury while intoxicated.

Has three children: Linda Susan Agar (1948), 'Charles Black Jr' (1952) and Lori Alden Black (1954).

Her mother, Gertrude, did her hair in pin curls for each movie... every hairstyle had exactly 56 curls.

Breast cancer survivor.

Became a Dame of Malta, although NOT from the officially recognized Roman Catholic order -- but rather from a non-Roman Catholic unaffiliated entity.

Actresses Shirley Jones and Shirley MacLaine were both named after her.

Has a soft drink named after her

She learned her trade at Meglin's, a popular talent school. Judy Garland was once a fellow `Meglin Kiddie'.

From the 70s onward she has been active in politics for almost 30 years, she served as ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and held other government-related positions in the U.S.

Appears on sleeve of The Beatles's "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

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

Auditioned twice to be in "Our Gang" / "The Little Rascals." She apparently failed the first audition, and made the second while she was appearing in the "Baby Burlesks" series. "Our Gang" director Robert F. McGowan refused to agree to Shirley's mother's request that Shirley receive star billing with "Our Gang," so she didn't get in.

Briefly considered for the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939), but it was determined that her singing limitations were "insurmountable," and Judy Garland, MGM's first choice, was cast instead.

She was voted the 38th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

When she was a teenager her body guard was Louis Dean Palmer, who she called 'Palmtree'.

Aged six became the youngest person ever to be presented with an Oscar

Premiere Magazine ranked her as #33 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).

Was named #18 Actress, The American Film Institutes 50 Greatest Screen Legends

According to Gary Wills' "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 Temple, 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 Fort Apache (1948). 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?".

Is portrayed by Ashley Rose Orr and by Emily Hart in Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story (2001) (TV)

Husband #2 Charles Black was a businessman and maritime issues consultant. He served on a Commerce Department advisory committee and several National Research Council panels. H also co-founded a Massachusetts-based company that developed unmanned deep-ocean search and survey imaging systems. He died of bone marrow disease at age 86. It had been diagnosed three years earlier.

She calls it corny but she admitted that she fell in love with Charles Black at first sight. They met while she was in Honolulu. He was working for a shipping company there at the time.

Presented Walt Disney with his special Academy Award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). It was a standard sized Oscar with seven little Oscars.

Says that she stopped believing in Santa Claus when she went to a department store to have her picture taken with him, and he asked for her autograph.

Broke her wrist in a fall at her North California home [November 1, 2006].

As a child Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was her idol, she got to work with him on four different pictures.

At the age of 6, she was the youngest presenter at the Oscars ever. She presented the "Best Actress" award in 1935. The winner was Claudette Colbert.

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Shirley Temple News and Features 
Hollywood’s former child star legend Shirley Temple dies   - ApunKaChoice   - 671 days ago
Former iconic Hollywood child star Shirley Temple dead. Hollywood’s former child star legend Shirley Temple passed away on Monday night. more...

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