Shirley Temple More at IMDbPro »
advertisementDate of Birth
23 April 1928, Santa Monica, California, USA
5' 2" (1.57 m)
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.
IMDb Mini Biography By: Ken Severson
Charles Black (16 December 1950 - 4 August 2005) (his death) 2 children
John Agar (19 September 1945 - 5 December 1949) (divorced) 1 child
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 she was to play the part of 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 she was seven years old her life was insured with Lloyd's of London, and 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, whom Charles Black later adopted, (b. January 30, 194, Charles Alden Black Jr. "Charlie" (born in Bethesda, Maryland, April 24, 1952) and Lori Alden Black (b. April 9, 1954). Both daughters were born in Santa Monica, California, at the same hospital, not to mention delivered by the same doctor, as Shirley had been years before.
Her mother, Gertrude Temple, 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 late 1960s onward she was increasingly active in Republican Party politics. She served as U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and held other government-related positions.
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 bodyguard was Louis Dean Palmer, who she called "Palmtree".
At age six she became the youngest person ever to be presented with an Oscar.
2005: Premiere Magazine ranked her as #33 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature.
Was named #18 Actress, The American Film Institutes 50 Greatest Screen Legends
According to author Garry Wills in "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, 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 (194, 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 this film. 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 and by Emily Hart in Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story (2001) (TV)
Second husband Charles Black was a businessman and maritime issues consultant. He served on a Commerce Department advisory committee and several National Research Council panels. He 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.
She 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.
11/1/06: She broke her wrist in a fall at her northern California home.
Bill Robinson (aka "Bojangles Robinson") was her idol when she was a child, and she got to work with him on four 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.
1936: She received a new contract from 20th Century-Fox, retroactive on September 9, paying her over $50,000 per film.
A soft cocktail - Shirley Temple - was created in her honor consisting of, Ginger Ale (or 7-Up), Grenadine and Orange Juice, topped with a Maraschino Cherry and a slice of lemon.
In a 1988 interview with Larry King, she stated that out of the $3 million she generated for 20th Century Fox she only saw $45,000 in her trust fund.
A close friend and supporter of Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
A vocal supporter of the Vietnam War, when running for Congress as a Republican in 1967 Temple consistently argued that the US needed to send more troops to South East Asia.
Her childhood home is located at 231 Rockingham Avenue, Brentwood, California.
While her first daughter was delivered naturally, her son and her second daughter Lori were delivered by Cesarean.
Was pregnant with daughter Linda Susan "Susie" Agar (later changed to Black), during the filming of That Hagen Girl (1947).
Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 1500 Vine Street.
When Gary Cooper first met Shirley Temple on the set of their movie Now and Forever he asked for her autograph.
"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph."
Gertrude Temple's advice to her daughter before each scene: "Sparkle, Shirley, sparkle!"
"Any star can be devoured by human adoration, sparkle by sparkle."
"One famous movie executive who shall remain nameless, exposed himself to me in his office. 'Mr X,' I said, 'I thought you were a producer not an exhibitor'."
Shirley Temple doesn't hurt Shirley Temple Black. Shirley Temple helps Shirley Temple Black. She is thought of as a friend - which I am!
Fort Apache (194 $110,000
Since You Went Away (1944) $2,200 (per week)
Stand Up and Cheer! (1934) $75/week
Pardon My Pups (1934) $1,000/wk+$35,000 bonus at the end of each film to be held in trust until contract is over+$250/wk for her mother
Kid in Hollywood (1933) $150/week
The Red-Haired Alibi (1932) $50 (two days)
Where Are They Now
(199 Recipient of Kennedy Center Honors
(1989) U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia
(1976) U.S. Chief of Protocol
(1974) U.S. Ambassador to Ghana
(1969) Delegate to the United Nations
(January 2006) Awarded the Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild.
(January 2006) Presented with the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award by Dakota Fanning and Jamie Lee Curtis.
(198 Release of her book, "Child Star: An Autobiography".
(2006) Release of the book, "Shirley Temple: A Pictorial History of the World's Greatest Child Star" by Rita Dubas.
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