Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star, dies at 85

A talented and ultra-adorable entertainer, Shirley Temple was America's top box-office draw from 1935 to 1938, a record no other child star has come near. She beat out such grown-ups as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford. (AP) A talented and ultra-adorable entertainer, Shirley Temple was America's top box-office draw from 1935 to 1938, a record no other child star has come near. She beat out such grown-ups as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford. (AP)
Associated Press | Los Angeles | Posted: February 11, 2014 5:49 pm | Updated: February 12, 2014 8:30 am

Shirley Temple, the dimpled, curly-haired child star who sang, danced, sobbed and grinned her way into the hearts of Depression-era moviegoers, has died, according to publicist Cheryl Kagan. She was 85.

Temple, known in private life as Shirley Temple Black, died Monday night at about 11 p.m. at her home near San Francisco. She was surrounded by family members and caregivers, Kagan said.

“We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and adored wife for fifty-five years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black,” a family statement said.

In this 1933 file photo, child actress Shirley Temple is seen in her role as "Little Miss Marker". Shirley Temple, the curly-haired child star who put smiles on the faces of Depression-era moviegoers, has died. She was 85. (AP) In this 1933 file photo, child actress Shirley Temple is seen in her role as “Little Miss Marker”. Shirley Temple, the curly-haired child star who put smiles on the faces of Depression-era moviegoers, has died. She was 85. (AP)

A talented and ultra-adorable entertainer, Shirley Temple was America’s top box-office draw from 1935 to 1938, a record no other child star has come near. She beat out such grown-ups as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford.

In 1999, the American Film Institute ranking of the top 50 screen legends ranked Temple at No. 18 among the 25 actresses. She appeared in scores of movies and kept children singing “On the Good Ship Lollipop” for generations.

Temple was credited with helping save 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy with films such as “Curly Top” and “The Littlest Rebel.” She even had a drink named after her, an appropriately sweet and innocent cocktail of ginger ale and grenadine, topped with a maraschino cherry.

Temple blossomed into a pretty young woman, but audiences lost interest, and she retired from films at 21. She raised a family and later became active in politics and held several diplomatic posts in Republican administrations, including ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the historic collapse of communism in 1989.

“I have one piece of advice for those of you who want to receive the lifetime achievement award. Start early,” she quipped in 2006 as she was honored by the Screen Actors Guild.

But she also said that evening that her greatest roles continued…

comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,288 other followers