“Oh my goodness!” Shirley Temple Black died late Monday night at 85 years old. The former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. to Czechoslovakia, and to Ghana, and the first female to be appointed to the office of U.S. Chief of Protocol, in the Ford administration, Shirley Temple was, at one time “the biggest star in the world.” She was born on April 23, 1928 at 9 in the evening. She often said it was too late for dinner. She started one meal behind and spent the rest of her life trying to make up for it. The cause of death has not been announced. See a clip from her amazing dance routine with Bojangles Robinson below.
At 3-years-old Shirley began dance lessons at Mrs. Megin’s Dance Studio in LA. She was ‘discovered’ by two producers who were making a series of one-reel shorts with an all-child-cast, called Baby Burlesks. Shirley was cast as the star. After several of the Baby Burlesks episodes, her first major film was for Fox Film Corporation, a full-length “major” film, Stand Up and Cheer. The movie was a great “Depression-era” success. It wasn’t long before she was “the biggest star in the world.” In my opinion, there hasn’t been a child star like her, anywhere in the world. So many, so very talented in her era, and later the Disney kids, but no one with the extraordinary talents of Shirley Temple.
I didn’t know that she was married at the age of 17 to Jack Agar. They had a daughter, Linda Susan. They divorced after years of marriage. In 1950, four years after divorce, she married Charles Black, a former Naval Officer. The Blacks have two children, Charlie Jr. and Lori. Shirley and Charles lived in Northern California.
She starred in 14 shorts and 43 major feature films, as well as 25 “storybook movies.” She was active in the business from 1931 to 1961. The full-length Heidi, one of the sweetest stories of all time, is on YouTube. If your little ones haven’t seen it, they will love it. I have it playing now. When she and grandfather sing in the church, you may feel a lump in your throat or a tear in you eye. May Shirley Temple rest in peace and
Mr. Black [Charles Black died in 2005) her children be comforted by her incredible legacy.