Shirley Temple - biography

Shirley Temple (Santa Monica, California, USA, April 23, 1928 - Woodside, California, USA, February 10, 2014)

American film and TV actress, singer and dancer, full name Shirley Jane Temple, was one of the most famous child film actresses. Since she was a child her mother encouraged her singing, dancing and acting talents and enrolled her in the Meglin's school of dance in Los Angeles. She was there spotted by an agent of the Educational Pictures production house, which she signed a contract with in 1932. Her fist film roles were at the age of only four in a series of short satires Baby Burlesks (Runt Page, 1932 and The Pie-Covered Wagon, 1932). Her first feature film was Red Haired Alibi (1932). After Educational Pictures went bankrupt in 1933, she signed for Fox Film Corporation. Her first big break was the musical Stand Up and Cheer! (1934) by Hamilton MacFadden and she achieved important roles in family comedies Little Miss Marker (1934) by Alexander Hall and Baby Take a Bow (1934) by Harry Lachman. With Gary Cooper and Carole Lombard she starred in the film Now and Forever (1934) by Henry Hathaway. She achieved international fame with the film Bright Eyes (1934) directed by David Butler. The role in the film was written particularly for her and her talents and became the template for her future roles where she often plays a child without parents who wins the hearts of older men strangers with the charm and goodness of her heart. After the Fox Films studio merged with the Twentieth Century Pictures and became 20th Century Fox in 1934, the head of the studio Darryl F. Zanuck persuaded Shirley Temple's parents to sign a contract for filming four films a year instead of three. As one of the biggest studio stars at the time, she had a team of nineteen writer working on original stories and adaptations of existing works she could perform in. In 1935 four of her films come out, family comedies The Little Colonel (1935) by David Butler, Our Little Girl (1935) by John S. Robertson, Curly Top (1935) by Irving Cummings and The Littlest Rebel (1935) by David Butler. For her contribution to the world of film, as a juvenile actress she received a special Juvenile Oscar Academy Award in February 1935. A month later, she left her hand and foot prints in the sidewalk in front of the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood. At the end of the same year, with her parents she met the president and his wife, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1936 she starred in Captain January, again with director David Butler, Poor Little Rich Girl, directed by Irving Cummings and Dimples and Stowaway, directed by William A. Seiter. With a bigger budget, more famous actors and John Ford as the director she made Wee Willie Winkie (1937), and the studio's investment paid off and the film was a huge success. She also played the famous literary character of Heidi, in the film of the same name directed by Allan Dwan in 1937. She worked with the same director in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938), and the following two films Little Miss Broadway (1938) and Just Around the Corner (1938) directed by Irving Cummings were given poor reviews by the critics. Her home film studio, believing in a successful book adaptation, increased the production budget for the film Little Princess (1939) by Walter Lang and William A. Seiter, which was also the first film in full Technicolor starring Temple. The trust of the film studio paid off and the film turned out to be a success with both the audience and the critics. Even though she was considered for a role in The Wizard of Oz by MGM, the role was given to Judy Garland. In her home studio 20th Century Fox she continues to make Susannah of the Mounties (1939). Although made with the same directors as the previous film, it wasn't nearly as successful. After the failure of films The Blue Bird (1940) and Young People (1940) her parents bought off her obligation to make two more films that year and sent her to a school for girls. After that she made Kathleen (1941) for studio MGM, but after the film flopped both Temple and MGM voluntarily terminated the newly signed contract. When the film Miss Annie Rooney (1942) turned out to be unsuccessful as well, Temple, who was then fourteen, turned to her education. She returned to film in 1944 by signing a contract with the producer David O. Selznick. She starred in war dramas Since You Went Away (1944) and I'll Be Seeing You (1944), but Selznick's interest in promoting her further stopped. Among the more successful films for other production studios she starred in are the comedy Kiss and Tell (1945) by Richard Wallace, the romantic comedy The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947) by Irving Reis and the western Fort Apache (1948) by John Ford. After the poor success of her last films, in December 1950 she officially announced that she was retiring from acting. Eight years later she started working on television. From 1958 until 1961 she was the host and the speaker in the TV series Shirley Temple's Storybook which screened fairy tales in sequels lasting one hour. After that she occasionally appeared in TV series and shows. Privately she became an active member of the Republican Party, and the American president Nixon chose her to be the delegate in the UN General Assembly in 1969. From 1974 until 1976 she was the US ambassador in Ghana, and from 1989 until 1992 in Czechoslovakia. She was a public servant in different functions.


A Kiss for Corliss (1949)

The Story of Seabiscuit (1949)

Adventure in Baltimore (1949)

Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949)

Fort Apache (1948)

That Hagen Girl (1947)

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)

Honeymoon (1947)

Kiss and Tell (1945)

I'll Be Seeing You (1944)

Since You Went Away (1944)

Miss Annie Rooney (1942)

Kathleen (1941)

Young People (1940)

The Blue Bird (1940)

Susannah of the Mounties (1939)

The Little Princess (1939)

Just Around the Corner (1938)

Little Miss Broadway (1938)

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938)

Heidi (1937)

Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937) (uncredited)

Wee Willie Winkie (1937)

Stowaway (1936)

Dimples (1936)

Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)

Captain January (1936)

The Littlest Rebel (1935)

Curly Top (1935)

Our Little Girl (1935)

The Little Colonel (1935)

Bright Eyes (1934)

Now and Forever (1934)

Baby Take a Bow (1934)

Now I'll Tell (1934)

Little Miss Marker (1934)

Change of Heart (1934)

Stand Up and Cheer! (1934)

Managed Money (1934) (short film)

As the Earth Turns (1934) (uncredited)

Mandalay (1934) (unused scenes)

Carolina (1934) (uncredited)

Pardon My Pups (1934) (short film)

What's to Do? (1933) (short film)

Kid 'in' Africa (1933) (short film)

Merrily Yours (1933) (short film)

To the Last Man (1933) (uncredited)

Dora's Dunking Doughnuts (1933) (short film)

Polly Tix in Washington (1933) (short film)

The Kid's Last Fight (1933) (short film)

Out All Night (1933)

Kid in Hollywood (1933) (short)

Glad Rags to Riches (1933) (short film)

New Deal Rhythm (1933) (uncredited, short film)

Kid's Last Stand (1932) (short film)

The Pie-Covered Wagon (1932) (short film, 2nd film in the Baby Burlesk film series)

Red Haired Alibi (1932)

War Babies (1932) (short film)

Runt Page (1932) (uncredited, short film, 1st film in the Baby Burlesk film series)