Legendary Child Star Dies at 85

Shirley Temple, the enchanting singing and dancing child star with glowing spirals of hair who saved a Hollywood studio and helped pull America from the ravages of the Great Depression, died Monday night. She is 85 years old.

Temple died of natural causes in Woodside, Calif., The home is surrounded by her family and caregivers, a statement from her representative said.

VIDEO: 7 memorable roles of Shirley Temple

Temple recently began receiving delicate care, her grandson, Richard Blacktold The Hollywood Reporter.

Earning $1,250 a week at age 6, Incandescent Temple is a veteran with 46 features and one reel before she turns 13. As a big star in a pint-sized package, she gets her average. average 16,000 letters a month and in one birthday, fans sent her 167,000 gifts. She is the subject of a Salvador Dali The surrealistic painting and non-alcoholic drink decorated with maraschino cherries were invented and named after her so that children and adults could “inflect” together.

A bigger box office take Clark Gable (another famous dimpled actor), Temple captivated audiences with her furrowed brows, confused pout, and unrelenting cheerfulness in films like Bright Eyes (1934), in which she performed her signature song, “The Good Ship Lollipop.”

“On the Lollipop good train, it was a sweet trip to a candy store. Where the games jostle, on the sunny beach of Peppermint Bay,” she sings. The song has sold half a million copies.

With the country still reeling from the Great Recession, President Franklin Roosevelt declared, “As long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be fine.” Her influence extends to far-flung lands: Seeking favor with America, foreign officials have sent her gifts such as a miniature, drivable Rolls-Royce (from Aga Khan in the Middle East) and a child-sized jade elephant (from China).

STORY: The Death of Shirley Temple: Hollywood Child Star Mourns

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Temple at age 6 with its first Juvenile Academy Award “in recognition of her outstanding contributions to screen entertainment during the year.” 1934.” She is the youngest person ever to receive an Oscar, miniature or otherwise.

Temple appeared in six other features that year, including the musical Stand up and cheer! She was only a small part of that movie – the plot saw the US government create a “Ministry of Entertainment” to get the country out of a horrible recession – but the picture quickly got Fox out the valuable assets they have in their hands.

On the verge of bankruptcy and tens of millions of dollars in debt, Fox merged with Twentieth Century Pictures in 1935, and was the studio director. Darryl F. Zanuck has become his lovable #1 priority. He has put the best talent into a great deal to work on her paintings, and the Shirley Temple Development Department at one time employed 19 writers.

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Four of Temple’s most memorable films were released in 1935, including Little Colonela Civil War musical that she danced with Bill “Bojangle” Robinson on the stairs in one of the most mesmerizing cinematic scenes of all time.

She followed that year with Our little girl and Curly head – introduced another of her songs that became a classic, “Animal Crackers in My Soup” – and Littlest . Rebellionin which she and Robinson appealed President Lincoln for help in another Civil War story.

A gold mine with a glowing padlock – her mother Gertrude The plucky Temple topped the box office for four years in a row, from 1935 to 1938. During this time, Fox renewed the contract to pay $50,000 for each film. every movie.

After Temple lent it to Paramount in 1934 to make a movie Now and forever with Gary Cooper and Carole Lombard and Little Miss Marker, Zanuck is sure that will never happen again. He refused to let her work at MGM on Wizard of Oz (1939), and Dorothy’s part went to Judy Garland.

STORY: Shirley Temple’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is enshrined

The studio has seen huge earnings from Temple’s photos, with the girl endorsing products like dresses, cereals and soaps. Her dolls are selling at a rate of 1.5 million a year. She lost her virginity, or at least her faith in Santa, “when my mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph,” she he used to say.

In a 1988 interview with People magazine, she admits she didn’t realize how famous she was.

“I really didn’t know that,” she said. “When I asked her why the crowd was shouting my name and saying, ‘We love you,’ she would deny it by saying, ‘Your job makes them happy.’ She never let it get into my head.”

Shirley Jane Temple was born in Santa Monica on April 23, 1928. Her father, George, is a banker, and her mother is a housewife. She has two brothers. Her mother insists that her baby’s first words are lyrics for a Rudy Vallee and she enrolled her incredibly bright daughter in dance school.

In 1932, the 3-year-old temple appeared in the first of the eight Baby Burlesks one-reelers – simulation of hit movies or current events featuring famous adult roles. At the age of 5, she signed with Fox, rising rapidly from contract player to full-fledged star after Stand up and cheer theater screening.

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The studio has kept its biggest star sheltered in her own bungalow on the lot in an effort to preserve her childlike natural charm. “If I lose my virginity,” she recalls a studio executive telling her, “it will show in my eyes.” Her films always contain boundless optimism and an uncanny ability to melt the most hardened hearts.

PHOTO: Hollywood’s notable deaths in 2014

Temple graduated to star in critically acclaimed literary adaptations such as Wee Willie Winkie (1937), director John Ford. From 1937 to 1940, she topped films such as Heidi, Sunnybrook Farm’s Rebecca, Little Miss BroadwayTechnicolor gems Little princess, Blue bird (Fox’s answer to Wizard of Oz) and Youth.

However, the last two films failed. Early, Mickey Rooneyanother young player, was box office king, and Fox and Temple ended their association in 1940. Her parents placed 12-year-old Temple in an all-girls school, and she eventually signed on. in agreement with MGM.

As a teenager and young adult, she starred in the movie World War II Since you go (In 1944); Bachelor and Bobby Soxer (1947) opposite Cary Grant and Myrna Loy; Ford’s Apache Fortress (1948) with John Wayne and Henry Fonda; and her last feature, A Kiss for Corliss (1949) with David Niven.

Temple’s last professional relationship with show business was in the late 1950s and early 60s, when she hosted and sometimes starred in Shirley Temple’s Storybook and The Shirley Temple Show on television.

Wedding Temple John Agar (7 years older than her) in 1945 when she was 17, at a wedding in Los Angeles that attracted thousands of her fans. They had a daughter, Lindaand Agar became an actor, appearing with Temple in Apache Fortress and Adventures in Baltimore (In 1949). Troubled by excessive drinking and constant flirting, Temple filed for divorce in 1949 and retired from acting.

Months after the divorce was finalized, Temple met Black Charles at the Outrigger Club while on vacation in Hawaii in Waikiki. A San Francisco businessman and former naval officer, Black confessed to her that he had never seen any of her films. He proposed 13 days after they met, and they were married in Carmel Valley, California, in December 1950. They had one son, Charlesin 1952 and a daughter, Loriin 1954.

Black died at their Woodside home of bone marrow disease in August 2005, and Temple’s grandson, Richard, said she has been lonely since. All three of her children also survived her.

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PHOTO: Shirley Temple’s career in pictures

Temple was a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1967 on a platform of supporting American involvement in the Vietnam War. One year later, President Nixon appointed her as the United States delegate to the United Nations. She later served as U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and as head of ceremonies at the State Department.

In 1972, at the age of 44, Temple was one of the first public figures to speak about a mastectomy, paving the way for open discussion on a previously taboo health topic. “I hope fervently that women will not hesitate to go to the doctor for a diagnosis when they have unusual symptoms,” she said afterward.

In 1988, Temple published her best-selling autobiography, Child star, and received the title of the Kennedy Center. She received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2006 but went unnoticed in the last years of her life.

“When I was 3 years old, I was happy to say that I was an actor, even though I didn’t know what an actor was,” she said with much laughter during the SAG presentation.

“I have one piece of advice for those who want a Lifetime Achievement Award: Get Started Early!”

A statement from the Temple family read: “We salute her for a life of remarkable accomplishment as an actress, diplomat and most importantly as a our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and wife of the late fifty-five years. and miss Charles Alden Black…. We ask that our family be given the opportunity at this time to grieve privately. “

A private funeral for Temple is still pending, but a guest scrapbook for the memorial will be opened shortly. shirleytemple.com. Contributions in her memory can be made to the Commonwealth Club of California 2nd Campaign Century or visit the Education Center at the Academy Film Museum in Los Angeles, according to the family statement.

Duane Byrge contributed to this report.

Twitter: @ mikebarnes4

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