Click for large image
Shirley Temple was born in Santa Monica, California in 1928. Her mother quickly saw her remarkable talent, and did all she could to develop it, and to get her noticed. She enrolled her in a dance school, where she amazed everyone with her dancing and singing abilities at such a young age. Her mother gave her a hair style imitative of that worn by Mary Pickford, with exactly 56 "ringlets". She appeared in her first movies starting when she was just shy of four years old, in a series called "Baby Burlesks" (she had apparently failed an audition for the Our Gang series). She was paid $10 a day. In 1934, she signed a contract with Fox, and her career really took off. Her big breakthrough came with Stand Up and Cheer!, where her singing and dancing amazed the nation. But she proved she was a remarkably poised actress that same year in Little Miss Marker and Baby Take a Bow, and Fox rushed her into as many movies as they could. That same year she was in Now and Forever with Gary Cooper and Carole Lombard (reportedly Cooper asked for her autograph when he met her!), and soon after she starred in the series of juvenile musicals she is best remembered for, films like Bright Eyes, The Little Colonel, Curly Top, Poor Little Rich Girl, Wee Willie Winkie, Heidi, and many more. In the late 1930s, Fox (now 20th Century Fox) still had her in little girl roles, even though she was rapidly maturing, and in 1939 MGM badly wanted her for the lead in The Wizard of Oz, but 20th Century Fox refused to loan her out, and instead put her in The Blue Bird, which did not do well. She left Fox, and began playing "teen" roles for various studios, but none were very successful, and she made far fewer movies. In 1945, she married actor John Agar, and they were married for four years and had a child. In 1949, they divorced, and a year later she married businessman Charles Black, and retired from movies forever. She became active in politics (she was a Republican, and was appointed to several posts in the 1960s to 1990s). Shirley Temple was far and away the greatest child star of all time! She saved the Fox studio after the death of its previous greatest star, Will Rogers in 1935. She was merchandised in a zillion ways, and countless girls born in the late 1930s were named "Shirley". There has never been another child actor with so much talent at such a young age! She passed away in 2014 at the age of 85.
view gallery of sold items featuring Shirley Temple