Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rest in Peace Shirley Temple Black

It's a sad day not only for classic movie fans but for the whole world as that loveable little girl with the golden curls in her hair has now passed on at the age of 85.
During the great depression this little girl lifted the spirits of her nation and eventually the world. She could sing, act and dance all by the age of five. Her bright, bouncy and bubbly personality reached beyond the movie theaters. She held her own and even surpassed some of the more adult entertainers with whom she shared the silver screen. When Shirley was just 8 months old her parents, Gertrude and George Temple, saw that she had rhythm when their daughter would stand in her crib and move to the popular music of the day. They later enrolled her in a dance school and when the actor/director visited the school he noticed Shirley. He signed her to be in some of his shorts. Soon she was the star of her first feature film Stand Up and Cheer and her career took off. Between 1935 to 1938 she was a box office champion and would become one of the top 50 box office performers of all time.  She was even asked to be Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. But she worked for 20th Century Fox  and they refused to lend their biggest star to MGM. So they cast Judy Garland in the role. She tried to make the transition from child star to teenaged actress in such movies like the drama Since You Went Away where she starred with Claudette Colbert and in the comedy The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer with Cary Grant. I have no doubt if she kept at it she would have succeed as an adult actress. Still her success as a child star was a huge obstacle and she turned to focus her energies into her family and politics. This is where her greatest achievements came that rarely made the headlines. In the office of an ambassador she helped her country and the people of Ghana and Czechoslovakia. Rest in Peace Shirley Temple. You sang and danced your way into our hearts and made us all smile.

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