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
(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).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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