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Famous Like Me > Singer > T > Shirley Temple

Profile of Shirley Temple on Famous Like Me

Name: Shirley Temple  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 23rd April 1928
Place of Birth: Santa Monica, California, USA
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
For the cocktail named after this person, see Shirley Temple cocktail.
Shirley Temple in "Glad Rags to Riches"

Shirley Jane Temple (born April 23, 1928), later known as Shirley Temple Black, was an American film child actress (considered by many to be the most famous child actor in history) and diplomat.

Film career

Born in Santa Monica, California, she starred in over 40 films during the 1930s. Even at the age of five, the hallmark of her acting work was her professionalism: lines memorized and dance steps prepared. Her innate talent, her ability to convincingly cry on-cue and this professionalism, as well as the quality and optimism of her early output, lead to an astounding overall output throughout the 1930's. Her films continue to enjoy popularity today, particularly among young girls.

Temple began her career at the age of three, appearing in two series of low-budget short subjects at Educational Pictures and many minor roles in major studio films. She was signed to Fox in late 1933 after her appearance in Stand Up and Cheer with James Dunn. Her contract was amended several times between 1933 and 1935, and was loaned to Paramount for a pair of successful films in 1934. For four solid years, she ranked as the top-grossing box office star in America. She was the first recipient of the special Juvenile Performer Academy Award in 1935 and it is noted in the Guinness Book of Records, citing her as the youngest person ever to do so.

Aside from the films, there were many Shirley Temple product tie-ins during the 1930's. Ideal's numerous Temple dolls, dressed in costumes from the movies, were top sellers. Original Shirley Temple dolls bring in hundreds of dollars on the secondary market today. Other successful Temple items included a line of girls' dresses and hairbows. Several of Temple's film songs, including "On the Good Ship Lollipop" (from 1934's Bright Eyes), "Animal Crackers in my Soup" (from 1935's Curly Top and "Goodnight my Love" (from 1936's Stowaway) were popular radio hits.

The role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, played by Judy Garland, was originally intended for her. She was unable to appear in the film when a trade between Fox and MGM fell through. She was also rumored to be the inspiration for Bonnie Blue in Gone With the Wind and was one of the early contenders for the role in the motion picture, but was too old by the time the film went into production.

Temple retired from film acting in her early twenties after appearing in successful films such as Since You Went Away, Fort Apache (with her then-husband, John Agar, in the cast), and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer. She also appeared occasionally on television.

Family and career as Shirley Temple Black

Temple was married first to actor John Agar in 1945; she was then 17, and they had one daughter, Linda Agar in 1948. They divorced in 1950 and later that year she married the Californian businessman Charles Black (1919-2005) and took his name. She may have looked favourably on his admission during their courtship that he had never seen any of her films. Together, they had two children; Lori and Charlie Black. They remained married until his death from myelodysplastic syndrome on August 4, 2005, aged 86.

Black subsequently became involved in Republican Party politics, unsuccessfully entering a Congressional race in 1967 on an anti-war platform. She went on to hold several diplomatic posts, representing the United States in the United Nations (1969-70) and as America's delegate to many international conferences and summits. She was appointed American ambassador to Ghana (1974-76). In 1976, she became the first female Chief of Protocol of the United States which put in her charge of all State Department ceremonies, visits, gifts to foreign leaders and co-ordination of protocol issues with all US embassies and consultates. She was ambassador to Czechoslovakia (1989-92) and witnessed the Velvet Revolution, about which she comments: "That was the best job I ever had."

Black appeared on the cover of People magazine in 1998 with the title "Picture Perfect" and again later that year as part of their special report "Surviving Breast Cancer." She appeared at the 1998 Academy Awards and also in that same year received Kennedy Center Honors.

Shirley Temple Black was a former child actress and United States diplomat

Black served on the board of directors of some large enterprises including The Walt Disney Company (1974–75), Del Monte, Bancal Tri-State and Fireman's Fund Insurance. Black's nonprofit board appointments included the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Council of American Ambassadors, the World Affairs Council, the United States Commission for UNESCO, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the United Nations Association and the U.S. Citizen's Space TaskForce.

Black received honorary doctorates from Santa Clara University and Lehigh University, a Fellowship from College of Notre Dame, and a Chubb Fellowship from Yale University.

Black now lives in Woodside, California.


  • Child Star: An Autobiography (1988) ISBN 0446357928


See Shirley Temple Filmography


At least two cocktails have been named for Temple. A Shirley Temple is also a non-alcoholic cocktail named for the child actress. It was invented at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii, where she often stayed. Alcoholic variations on the recipe exist, called "Shirley Temple Black" and "Dirty Shirley".

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Shirley Temple