Shirley Temple visiting Boston. (Flickr/Vintage-Stars)
This Monday the world bid farewell to the famous and beloved Shirley Temple Black. The 1930’s famous actress passed away at the age of 85 in her San Francisco home. She saved the now media titan, Fox from collapsing after the Great Depression in the early 1930’s. Not only did she save Fox but she served as a beacon of hope and prosperity for the millions of Americans who had lost everything in the financial disaster. Shirley was also America’s No. 1 box office entertainer from 1935 to through 1938. She hailed the charts of Clark Gable and Bing Crosby with her films,“Curly Top,” and “Heidi”. All of which are now classics in their own right and still celebrated as one of the greatest family films of the early 1900’s.
2. Shirley’s Beauty, It Was No Walk In The Park
Shirley Temple Black in a film (Flickr/Vintage-Stars)
If you’ve never seen a Shirley Temple movie, stop now, find it on Netflix or Hulu and go take a look at that perfectly tousled curls. Shirley’s iconic look was so beloved that movie producers asked Shirley if she would file down her teeth for her to continue appearing young. The fame-hungry actress naturally agreed and had her teeth filed down to resemble those of a toddler. The beauty treatments didn’t stop there, every night her mother would pin 56 carefully placed curls. Her curls were of such utter importance that the child star even turned down a swimming invitation from Eleanor Roosevelt because she didn’t want to get her hair wet. Now that’s a celebrity for you.
3.Chief of Protocol, Also Known As Ambassador Shirley
Shirley Temple Black in a car while visiting Boston (Flikr/Boston Museum of Art)
Shirley didn’t only help stop a media giant from collapsing but also went on to help the United States Department of State. As Chief of Protocol, Shirley was responsible for a variety of things one in which included consulting the president and vice president on matter of international protocol. Who know a child star could be so well-informed on matters of international protocol: I sure didn’t. On the commencement ceremony for Shirley’s induction as Chief of Protocol, President Gerald Ford said,
“Shirley, it’s a great honor for me to have the opportunity of asking the Ambassador to swear you in to this very important post. It’s a great reward for the outstanding service that you have given, first as a Representative at the United Nations and, more recently, in Ghana, in Africa.
4. Shirley Was Supposed To Be Dorothy
Shirley Temple Black (Flickr/Boston Public Library)
Judy Garland is one of the most well known actresses from the cult film, Wizard of Oz. The thing is however that Judy was never supposed to get the star role of Dorothy, instead the part was set to go to Shirley Temple. The films producer Arthur Freed was in talks with Shirley to have her headline but the producer thought Shirley looked too childish for filming. So as any Hollywood producer would say, he told Shirley to “lost the baby fat” and that wasn’t happening any time soon. The deal was further closed when the producer exposed himself to Shirley, revealed later in her memoir. Without a further thought, Shirley’s camp gladly declined the producer’s requests and want for Shirley Temple.
5.Shirley Was Bathing in Millions
You know you’re rich and famous when you’re the youngest millionaire around town. At the tender age of six years old, Shirley was bringing in about $1,000 dollars a week (much more now with inflation). And at the top of her game the young child star was bringing in a whopping $3 million dollars a week. Now that’s a lot of ice cream parties and barbie sets for you and your friends. By the time Shirley was 12 years old, she had earned a little over $65 million dollars in todays worth. No wonder she was able to life Fox out of bankruptcy, she certainly had enough money to do something with her benjamins. I only hope that her family gets well taken care of and Shirley’s adorable smile is never forgotten in Hollywood history.