What do you know about Shirley Temple?
When I learned yesterday that Shirley died at the age of 85, I emailed The Hurricane about it. (We try to let each other know about important news events. She told me when Osama bin Laden was killed, and I told her about Shirley Temple -- no relation.)
The Hurricane replied, I didn't know she was alive.
I think The Hurricane and Favorite Young Man have some inkling of who Shirley Temple was, but I'm not sure. I never showed them her movies.
I was not yet born during Shirley's heyday, but when I was a teenager, a local TV station showed an old movie every Sunday. One week it would be Tarzan, and the next week, Shirley Temple.
That's how Shirley and I became friends. I can't tell you the plots of any of her movies. She usually seemed to be an orphan of some sort who carried on in the face of disaster and, in the meantime, reunited some estranged couple, fought wars, ended them, traveled the Amazon, became President of the United States -- oops! I'm getting Shirley confused with Teddy Roosevelt.
I have a favorite Shirley Temple movie. I don't know what it's about, but it's called The Little Colonel. I had heard of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson because The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band sang Mr. Bojangles on one of their albums. I finally saw Mr. Bojangles in action when he and Shirley danced together in The Little Colonel, from 1935.
It's not easy to dance on stairs.
Bill Robinson said that Shirley could learn a dance by listening to his taps.
I also remember Shirley's forays into politics when I was a young woman. I believe she was President Reagan's Chief of Protocol for a while and was appointed to an ambassadorship by President Ford.
When I get to Heaven and Shirley and I can sit down for a talk, I want to ask her two questions:
- Shirley, did you keep on dancing when you were older? Did you ever dance a step or two up the stairs of your house, or did you dance for your children?
- How did you stop yourself from killing your parents when you found out they'd squandered your fortune? I never heard you say anything bad about them, but it must have been quite a shock when you went to collect your millions and they turned out to be $44,000. (Mr. Temple managed Shirley's money. Supposedly the family lived on what Mrs. Temple was paid for working with Shirley on movie sets; however, they lived in a lavish mansion, made bad investments, "loaned" money to friends and relatives, and did not make the required deposits to Shirley's trust fund.) Shirley, you must have been one of the most forgiving people ever.
When I was in college, a friend showed me her mother's original Shirley Temple doll. It wasn't a reproduction from the fifties. It was the real thing, and it was in perfect condition.
Now, how about you? Did you, like The Hurricane, not know that Shirley Temple was still alive? Do you have any memories of Shirley Temple?
Infinities of love,
The cutest little girl 'ever'. And from what I believe, a good person too. And a very varied career spanning all sorts of occupations ... including politics ...ReplyDelete
I feel kind of sorry for her -- as a child. Their house had a swimming pool but she couldn't get in because her hair had to be kept in pin curls.Delete
I loved Shirley when I was a kid. I wanted to tap dance too but got an ugly look from Mom. I knew she was an ambassador and I was amazed she was alive then. Her life was quite private. I loved the movie when she went to live with her grandfather. Bearded like Santa and somewhere with snow and cold. Heidi was her name in that movie.ReplyDelete
Based on the book Heidi. I think I saw that one.Delete
Hi, Janie Junebug! Yessum, I knew that Shirley Temple was still alive. Like you I used to watch her old movies on TV along with Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan. Coincidentally, I was thinking about Shirley Temple the day she died because I had watched an old horror movie, Attack of the Puppet People, which co-starred her first husband, John Agar. It got me thinking how Agar practically robbed the cradle, meeting Shirley when she was age 15 and marrying her when she was only 17. The couple had a baby when Shirley was 19 and they divorced less than two years later. That's a lotta livin' for such a young woman but then Shirley always was precocious.ReplyDelete
One by one the icons of the 20th century are passing into history, leaving us with a legacy of films and recordings by which to remember their greatness.
Oh, yes, John Agar. He made quite a career for himself in strange sci-fi movies. I once read that Shirley cut him out of their daughter's life. I don't know if it's true. They are leaving us, one by one.Delete
I always liked her...........sweet but not cloyingReplyDelete
The modern generation please take note
I liked her, too. She worked incredibly hard as a child and threw herself wholeheartedly into politics.Delete
I met Shirley Temple Black when I was about 11 or 12. She was campaigning for a county office and I just couldn't get over, that she had once been that cute little girl. Nice lady and she let me hug her. Shirley was a prominent local, so we all knew where they lived. I had just checked a few months ago, since I hadn't heard anything about her in a while - she was still alive. It really saddened me.ReplyDelete
I have Shirley Temple paper-dolls that belonged to my mom. In "played with" condition, I wonder what they would be worth now? I don't think I could ever part with them, though.
That is so sweet. Shirley looked very much the mommy as an adult. I wouldn't part with those paper dolls. Your mom probably cherished them.Delete
My mother loves to watch Black and White movies. Sometimes I would watch them with her as a kid and some of those movie had Shirley temple in them. She seemed to live a nice full life, that is the best we can hope for I think.ReplyDelete
She was married to her second husband for many years. She had three children, and accomplished so much.Delete
I know almost nothing about her. I know they wanted her to be Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, but that's about it. I had a tape of a movie when I was a little kid but it was never even opened. I wasn't old enough to realize what an icon she was yet and I never watched anything she did, which I now regret. I also thought that she had died so I was pretty shocked to learn yesterday, which brought up the "why didn't I ever watch her movie?" feelings again. (Because I was about 10 and younger, and already had my Disney obsession.) Now, I'm going to Google her and educate myself because she sounds like she was an amazing woman.ReplyDelete
I believe the story is that she was under contract to Fox and they wouldn't loan her to MGM for Oz, so Judy Garland was propelled into superstardom. It's not too late to watch a couple of Shirley's movies, but I think they're all pretty much the same. She was in a few movies as a young woman but wasn't very successful. What a comedown it must have been for the biggest star in the world. I think and hope she had a happy home life with her husband and children.Delete
The curls and the pout...and I did not think she was still with us.ReplyDelete
I Googled her a couple of months ago to find out if she was still around. I knew she was getting pretty old.Delete
I'm amazed at how little she changed over the years. I used to watch her movies when I was little.ReplyDelete
She never lost those dimples.Delete
Another big loss reported this evening is the death of comedy legend Sid Caesar who influenced me tremendously. One by one...ReplyDelete
I must confess that I thought he had died quite some time ago.Delete
I was sorry to hear of her death, although she hadn't crossed my mind in a long time. She was my mother's generation, but mothers of my generation knew every movie star ever. Like you, I liked being able to see Bo Jangles dancing. I had a Shirley Temple syrup pitcher my MIL gave me. I put it through the dishwasher and lost Shirley. Bad.....ReplyDelete
I guess Shirley wasn't dishwasher safe. I wonder if a dishwasher killed her.Delete
I've not seen a single Shirley Temple movie, but to her enduring, immortal credit, I can sing every lyric to "Good Ship Lollipop." Also, her international work is incredibly admirable. RIP Person Who Has The Best Drink Named After Her (AKA Suck it, Arnold Palmer, your crap is gross).ReplyDelete
I know The Good Ship Lollipop and Animal Crackers In My Soup. We should sing a duet.Delete
I've always had high regard for her, and was saddened to know of her passing. What a lift she gave to this nation during the Great Depression. (Not that I was alive then!)ReplyDelete
She did, indeed. Shirley also saved Fox Studios from bankruptcy.Delete
My husband said the exact same thing when I told him Shirley Temple had died. I used to watch her shows every week. I had no idea her parents lost her fortune. I would've been very mad about that!ReplyDelete
If she was angry about the money, I don't think she ever said so publicly. She said her father had only a seventh grade education. She seemed to love her parents very much, in spite of the shock she experienced when she found out almost all the money was gone. Shirley and her husband became quite wealthy later on.Delete
Phil and I had the same reaction: "I didn't realize she was still alive."ReplyDelete
I prefer my Shirley Temples spiked. A lot.
Of course I know who she was but I was never a fan and I heard that she had diedReplyDelete
Hi Janie .. I don't really - except I definitely heard of her. I hadn't realised she was Ambassador to Czechoslovakia at the fall of the Berlin Wall ... the present Czech Ambassador to the UK knew and worked with her .. and admired her approach to the major changes happening .. she was an enlightened Diplomat.ReplyDelete
Glad she recovered and had a happy life .. she was one of the first prominent women in 1972 to recover and tell the world she had had breast cancer ...
She must have been a pretty talented lady ... cheers Hilary