Shirley Temple Remembered: 18 Images of a Child Star and Diplomat

Friday, 14 Feb 2014 06:43 PM

By Richard Grigonis

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Shirley Temple, the curly-haired child star who put smiles on the faces of Depression-era moviegoers, died this week the age of 85. Publicist Cheryl Kagan said Temple, known in private life as Shirley Temple Black, died Monday night, Feb. 10, 2014, surrounded by family at her home near San Francisco.

Here are 20 images celebrating the career of perhaps the greatest child movie star in Hollywood history.

1. Shirley Temple, April 1931




Born in Santa Monica, Calif., on April 23, 1928, Shirley Jane Temple was the third child of George Temple, a Californian branch bank manager, and his wife Gertrude, a struggling dancer.

Around the time this photo was taken, Shirley encountered one of the unsung heroes of her career, Ethel Meglin. Meglin was a former Ziegfeld Follies dancer and founder of the Ethel Meglin Dance Studios in Hollywood and the Meglin Kiddies, a group of child performers who included Judy Garland, Ann Miller, Gwen Verdon, Jane Withers, June Lang, and Mickey Rooney. Shirley Temple joined the school in 1931 and was spotted by two talent scouts.


2. Who’s Upstaging Who?




In the top mid-1930s photo, Temple gets a lesson in feeding Heidi, a seven-week-old fawn, from Buck the Wonder Dog, a Saint Bernard who was a distinguished film actor in his own right, having appeared in “The Call of the Wild” (1935), “Melody Trail” (1935), and “The Trigger Trio” (1937).

At bottom left, Hollywood's foremost child actress is shown all dressed up in a fetching costume as a Farmerette, posing with a prize-winning rooster on July 19, 1934.

At bottom right, at her Hollywood, Calif. home, Shirley poses affectionately with a calf given to her by the schoolchildren of Tillamook, Ore.

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3. With Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, 1935




The movie “The Little Colonel” featured Temple as Miss Lloyd Sherman and William “Bojangles” Robinson as Mr. Walker. Temple and Robinson liked each other — she called him “Uncle Billy” — and they made four films together as Hollywood’s most endearing dance team. Amid a racially divided era, they remained good friends until his death in 1949.


4. In 'Our Little Girl,' 1935




This film’s original title, "Heaven's Gate," was thought to sound too much like a cemetery, so it was changed to "Our Little Girl." Temple later wrote in her autobiography that she suffered a "big crush" on Joel McCrea while making this movie. As for McCrea, he playfully referred to her on the set as “butch.”


5. The Shirley Temple Police Force’s New Recruit




John Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, signs Shirley Temple's autograph book on Aug. 16, 1937, shortly after he was made a member of the Shirley Temple Police Force.


6. Shirley Temple and FDR




Eddie Cantor, top left, and little Shirley Temple were two of the film stars who took part in a film celebration of the birthday of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, on Jan. 30, 1937, in  Hollywood. They’re shown here looking at a replica of a cake to be served.

In the lower left photo, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Temple, first lady of the motion picture box office, talked together when Roosevelt visited the set where Temple was making her latest picture, "Little Miss Broadway," on March 18, 1938, in Hollywood. Roosevelt was in Southern California on a lecture tour and visited several Hollywood studios. Geography and grandchildren were the chief topics of conversation between the little actress and the first lady.

At lower right, Temple is shown waving to admirers as she emerged from the White House following a visit with President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 24, 1938. When Temple's film “Baby Take A Bow” premiered to spectacular box office business, FDR proclaimed: "As long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be all right."


7. Shirley’s C-54 Namesake Goes to War, 1944




Temple tries out the big four-engine Army transport C-54, which she had just christened with a pat and a kiss, at the Douglas plant on Oct. 12, 1944, in Santa Monica. This is the size plane used to transport wounded men across the Pacific and to take President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and others across the Atlantic. Temple's next movie was "I'll Be Seeing You."


8. Shirley’s First Marriage, 1945




Newlyweds 17-year-old Temple and Sgt. John Agar Jr. cut their wedding cake beneath a tent on the lawn of the Temple estate on Sept. 19, 1945. Agar was an Army Air Corps Sergeant who became a professional actor. They were married for four years and had a daughter in 1948, but divorced on Dec. 5, 1949.


9. Shirley’s Daughter Linda, 1948




Temple is seen with first daughter, Linda Susan Agar, born Jan. 30, 1948, in Santa Monica, Calif. After her 1949 divorce, Shirley received custody of her.


10. A Visit to the Stork Club, 1953




Shirley Temple Black and her second husband Charles Alden Black enjoy a night out at the New York Stork Club on Dec. 22, 1953. Temple met California businessman and prominent Republican fundraiser Black in Hawaii in 1950. Nine years her senior, he confessed that he had never seen any of her films. They were married in December of 1950 and the union lasted over half a century until his death in 2005.

They had a son, Charles Alden Black, born April 24, 1952, and a daughter, Lori Black, born April 9, 1954.

Temple retired from films in 1950 at the age of 22. She returned to host some TV shows briefly in the late 1950s and early 1960s.


11. Shirley’s Congressional Run, 1967




The top photo taken in September 1967 at Temple's Atherton, Calif., home, shortly after she had announced that she would run for the U.S. Congress in a special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Rep. J. Arthur Younger. She labeled herself a Republican Independent who ran on a platform stressing war against crime in the streets, supporting the war in Vietnam, and calling for racial harmony and moral regeneration.

In the lower photo, Shirley and her family pose in front of their living room’s television set as they awaited the results of the Congressional special election in San Mateo County on Nov. 14, 1967. With Temple Black are her son, Charles Jr., 14; daughter Susan Agar, 19; her husband, and daughter, Lori, 13. Shirley lost the election to Paul (Pete) McCloskey.

However, in 1969 President Richard Nixon appointed her as United States representative to the 24th General Assembly of the United Nations. In 1974, during the Ford Administration, Temple was appointed United States Ambassador to Ghana, and in 1976 she became America's first female Chief of Protocol at the White House. She was appointed United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1989.


12. Shirley’s 1972 Mastectomy




Shirley Temple Black is seen in her room at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, Calif., on Nov. 7, 1972., after discovering a lump in her breast. Shirley became the first celebrity to publicize a personal case of breast cancer, and she received 50,000 letters of support.


13. In the Political Thick of Things, 1977




French Ambassador in Washington Jacques Kosciusko-Morizet, second from right, flanked by his wife, right, shakes hands with U.S. President Jimmy Carter, flanked by his wife Rosalynn Carter, on January 22, 1977, as Temple looks on in her role as U.S. diplomat.


14. Her Oscar Grew Up Too




Shirley Temple Black is shown with Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Gene Allen as he presents her with a full-size Academy Awards statuette on May 21, 1985. The full-size statuette was presented as a replacement for a miniature statuette she was awarded at age 6 for her contribution to screen entertainment in 1934, 50 years before.


15. Salvador Dali’s Bizarre Portrait, 1939




Surrealist artist Salvador Dali created this strange work, entitled, “Shirley Temple, the Youngest, Most Sacred Monster of the Cinema in Her Time,” in 1939. It is a “wash” (the artist used a paintbrush wet with solvent holding a small load of paint that was applied to a wet or dry support) combined with pastels and a collage on cardboard. It is seen here at an exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, Britain, in 2007.


16. Shirley Temple Black, Kennedy Center Honoree, 1998




The 1998 Kennedy Center honorees pose on Dec. 5, 1998, in Washington, D.C., following a dinner in their honor at the State Department. Top row, left to right, is comedian Bill Cosby, composer John Kander, lyricist Fred Ebb, singer and songwriter Willie Nelson; at bottom, left to right, is Shirley Temple Black and composer and conductor Andre Previn. The honorees were recognized for their contribution to the arts.

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17. Shirley Receives the SAG Life Achievement Award, 2006




In the top photo, Temple, age 77, is escorted by her son Charles Black Jr. to receive the Screen Actors Guild's Life Achievement Award at the 12th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 29, 2006.

Below, Shirley 77, waves as she accepts the SAG Life Achievement Award. Shirley was honored for her years not only as a child star, but as a diplomat and humanitarian.


18. Flowers and a Special Star for a Special Shirley




Flowers for Shirley Temple Black are displayed at a special Hollywood Walk of Fame star on Feb. 11 in Hollywood. The timing of Shirley Temple's death forced a change in the tradition of placing flowers at a Hollywood Walk of Fame star when an honoree dies. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Ana Martinez said Temple's star is in storage while repairs are being made to the Vine Street location where it would normally be embedded in the sidewalk.

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