Shirley Temple

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Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple[note 1]
BirthplaceSanta Monica, California, U.S.
Film actress (1932–1950)
TV actress/entertainer (1958–1965)
Public servant (1969–1992)
EducationTutors; Private high school
Known for Juvenile film roles

Temple, Shirley

Temple, Shirley, 1928–2014, American child film star, b. Santa Monica, Calif., as Shirley Jane Temple. She started in movies at three-and-a-half and starred in her first feature (Stand Up and Cheer!) in 1934. An accomplished singer and tap dancer, little Shirley, with her golden curls, dimples, and dazzling smile, became one of the era's best-loved personalities and a Hollywood box-office champion during the Great Depression. In all, she made 23 movies, and was America's favorite movie star from 1935 to 1939. Her many screen hits include Little Miss Marker (1934), The Little Colonel (1935), Curly Top (1935), Dimples (1936), Heidi (1937), and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938). Adolescence brought a halt to her stardom, although she had roles in several 1940s films and appeared on television in the late 1950s and early 60s. She married businessman Charles Alden Black in 1950 and, as Shirley Temple Black, became active in Republican politics, serving as a delegate to the United Nations (1969–70), U.S. protocol chief (1976–77), and ambassador to Ghana (1974–76) and to Czechoslovakia (1989–92).


See her autobiography, Child Star (1988); R. Windeler, The Films of Shirley Temple (1995); studies by R. Windeler (1976), A. Edwards (1988), and C. Fiori (1997).

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Temple, Shirley

(1928–) blonde, curly-headed darling of America. [Am. Cinema: Browne, 100–111]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Temple, Shirley

(1928–  ) movie actress, diplomatic official; born in Santa Monica, Calif. Precociously talented, she was "discovered" at a dancing school and at age three and a half was appearing in a series of short films. In 1934 she made nine movies, leaping to stardom with Little Miss Marker, and winning a special Academy Award for her "outstanding contributions to screen entertainment" that year. For the next six years she was not only one of the most popular and best paid of all movie stars, she inspired a virtual cult of adulation and name-brand products. As she moved into her teens, her appeal and career faltered and she effectively retired from the movies in 1950; attempts to revive her career on television in 1958 and in 1960 also failed. Married to business executive Charles Black in 1950, as Shirley Temple Black she unsuccessfully ran as a Republican for U.S. representative and senator from California. She was appointed a U.S. representative to the United Nations (1969), ambassador to Ghana (1974–75), White House chief of protocol (1976–77), and ambassador to Czechoslovakia (1989–92).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.