Temple, Shirley (1928–)

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Shirley Temple (1928–)


Born on April 23, 1928, Shirley Temple made her first feature film appearance in 1932. Temple's first starring role was as an abandoned child in Little Miss Marker (1934). In the following few years, Temple was usually cast as an orphaned or abandoned child whose innocence "rescues" the adults around her. Some people found the high moral tone of her films irritating, but Temple had real talent. She could dance, sing, and act even at the age of six. She was Hollywood's biggest attraction between 1935 and 1938, earning $100,000 per picture.

In the 1930s, Shirley Temple dolls and toys and accessories sold well. She also had several hit records. But like many child movie actresses, Temple's cute looks eventually let her down. By the time she was eleven years old, she was past her prime movie-making years. As Shirley Temple Black, she entered politics in the 1960s, eventually becoming U.S. ambassador to Ghana in 1974 and Czechoslovakia in 1989.


—Chris Routledge

For More Information

Black, Shirley Temple. Child Star, USA. New York: Warner Books, 1989.

Fiori, Carlo. The Story of Shirley Temple Black: Hollywood's Youngest Star. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1997.

Haskins, James. Shirley Temple Black: Actress to Ambassador. New York: Viking Kestrel, 1988.

ShirleyTempleFans.Com.http://www.shirleytemplefans.com (accessed February 7, 2002).