Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rest peacefully, Little Princess.

"Any star can be devoured by human adoration, sparkle by sparkle."

I am completely sad over the loss of Shirley Temple Black last night at the age of 85.  Losing a treasure of yesteryear is never easy. There aren't too many of the Old Hollywood stars left, and I always get sad thinking of the day when they've all passed away. It's like these people are all we have left to connect us to that wonderful time in history when everything was done with class & elegance. I'm ecstatic to be someone who can help preserve these memories of the Golden Age & help pass on their legacies to generations to come.

America's Darling.

I adore these colorized photos. 

Simply precious!

Shirley was the first true child star. She was born in 1928 in Santa Monica, and by age 3 Shirley's mother Gertrude enrolled her daughter in Meglin's Dance School. At age 4, Shirley was signed to a contract with Educational Films to do a series of shorts called Little Berlesks. Not long after, Educational Films declared bankruptcy and in 1934, Fox Films took on Miss Temple. Her breakout film was Stand Up and Cheer! In December 1934, Bright Eyes was released and was the first film written for Shirley's talents. Soon after, Fox Films merged with Twentieth Century to become Twentieth Century-Fox. Studio head Darryl F. Zanuck focused his energy on making Shirley a bigger star. Her films while with Twentieth Century-Fox were meant to give hope to Americans who were in the middle of the Great Depression. With so many hardships and struggles for most Americans, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "It is a splendid thing that for just fifteen cents an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles." Shirley made three to four movies a year for Zanuck and Twentieth Century-Fox until 1940. In 1939, she starred in her last two money makers, The Little Princess, which had a budget of $1.5 million and was Shirley's first Technicolor film, and Susannah of the Mounties. However, in 1940 at age 12, Shirley performed in two box office flops. Her parents bought up the remainder of her contract, and Shirley spent her time going to school. 

On the Good Ship Lollipop, I assume!

Dancing with her idol & costar, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.

I don't even have words for this photo. I just adore
her so much!!

Celebrating her 8th birthday 
(actually her 9th, the studio made her a year younger!)

A year later, MGM signed Shirley for a comeback though neither of the movies she did were successful. She took a 2 year break from films to focus on school, and in 1944 David O. Selznick signed her to a personal 4 year contract. Selznick soon lost interest in Temple when he got involved with Jennifer Jones and loaned Shirley out to other studios. In 1950, after years of little success, Shirley retired from films. 

A promotional photo for Miss Annie Rooney (1942)

In Since You Went Away (1944) with Jennifer Jones & Claudette Colbert (who Shirley 
presented an Oscar to in 1935)

After her film career, Shirley became active in the Republican Party & served as the US Ambassador to Ghana, the Chief Protocol of the United States (she was in charge of arranging the inauguration and inaugural ball of President Ford), and the US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. In 1972, Shirley was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a radical mastectomy. She was extremely vocal in raising breast cancer awareness, urging women to get a mammogram. Shirley also served on many board of directors including The Walt Disney Company, Bank of America, and the National Wildlife Foundation. 

Giving a political speech.

Politics turned out to be Shirley's second passion.

Shirley married twice in her life. At 17, she married John Agar. They made two movies together for RKO, and a year after their marriage, Shirley gave birth to their daughter, Linda. The marriage only lasted until 1950, and later the same year Shirley married Charles Black. Their marriage lasted until his death in 2005 & produced two more children, Charles Jr, and Lori. 

With husband Charles Alden Black and their children.

Of course, being the Disneyphile I am, I find most fascinating about Shirley Temple her history with Walt Disney. In 1939, she presented Walt Disney with his Academy Award for Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs. 18 years later, he asked her to oversee the opening of the Sleeping Beauty diorama in the castle at Disneyland.

"I'm sure all the boys and girls in the whole world are going to be very
happy when they find out the daddy of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,'
Mickey Mouse, Ferdinand and all the others is going to get this beautiful statue.
Isn't it bright and shiny! Aren't you proud of it, Mr. Disney?"

"I'm so proud I think I'll bust. You know I think that Mickey Mouse,
Ferdinand, Snow White and all the dwarfs are going
to be very proud that you presented it."

Shirley and Walt leading the way down Main Street to Sleeping
Beauty's Castle.

Dedicating the Sleeping Beauty Castle diorama.

I think she would've definitely made a great
Disney princess.

Cutting the ribbon makes it official!!

Walt Disney even featured Shirley in a 1939 short called 
"The Autograph Hound" in which Donald Duck goes around
Hollywood seeking celebrities' autographs.

Shirley & her children taking a spin on Dumbo at Disneyland.

Having a ride on the Disneyland Hotel Tram with her 3 children!

Thank you, Shirley Temple, for your charm & your cheer, your songs & your dances, your smile & your laughter. 

Good night, Little Princess.


**All photos found with Google Image search. If they belong to you and you wish for me to not use them, please email me. Special thanks to disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog for the Walt Disney and Shirley Temple 1939 Oscar quotes.**


  1. Beautifully said, sister... She is a legend. Truly a little princess... Love you, Mom....


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