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Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star, dies at 85

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Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star, dies at 85

Post by Admin on Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:15 pm

Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star, dies at 85
By Valerie J. Nelson

February 11, 2014

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Shirley Temple Black, who as the most popular child movie star of all time lifted a filmgoing nation’s spirits during the Depression and then grew up to be a diplomat, has died. She was 85.

Black died late Monday at her home in Woodside, Calif., according to publicist Cheryl J. Kagan. No cause was given.

From 1935 through 1938, the curly-haired moppet billed as Shirley Temple was the top box-office draw in the nation. She saved what became 20th Century Fox studios from bankruptcy and made more than 40 movies before she turned 12.

Hollywood recognized the enchanting, dimpled scene-stealer’s importance to the industry with a “special award” -- a miniature Oscar -- at the Academy Awards for 1934, the year she sang and danced her way into America’s collective heart.

After she sang “On the Good Ship Lollipop” in “Bright Eyes,” the song became a hit and the studio set up Shirley Temple Development, a department dedicated to churning out formulaic scripts that usually featured the cheerful, poised Shirley as the accidental Little Miss Fix-It who could charm any problem away.

Her most memorable performances included four films she made with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, a black dancer 50 years her senior and a favorite costar, she later said.

They were first paired as foils for cantankerous Lionel Barrymore in 1935’s “The Little Colonel,” in which 7-year-old Shirley tap dances up and down the staircase, remarkably matching the veteran Robinson step for step.

“I would learn by listening to the taps,” Temple told the Washington Post in 1998. “I would primarily listen to what he was doing and I would do it.”

Their dance routines in such films as the Civil War saga “The Littlest Rebel” (1935) and “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” (1938) reflected their off-screen rapport. They were the first mixed-race musical numbers to be seen in many parts of the country, according to “Who’s Who in Musicals.”

Two of her films released in 1937 were among Temple’s favorites -- the John Ford-directed “Wee Willie Winkie,” in which she wins over a British outpost in India, and “Heidi,” a hit film that became a classic.

In her first film aimed squarely at children, Shirley sang “Animal Crackers in My Soup” to fellow orphans in 1935’s “Curly Top.” She danced with Jack Haley in “Poor Little Rich Girl” (1936), one of her best films and “a top musical on any terms,” according to movie critic Leonard Maltin.

A country desperate for relief from the excruciating economic hardships of the Depression fell in love with Shirley and her infectious optimism in “Baby Take a Bow,” the 1934 film that was her first starring vehicle.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt marveled how splendid it was “that for just 15 cents, an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles,” according to an American Film Institute history.

By 1935, lookalike Shirley Temple dolls, complete with her trademark curls, were selling at the rate of 1.5 million a year, part of a merchandising onslaught that included Temple-endorsed dresses and dishes.

Even bartenders got into the act. Although the 1930s origins of the non-alcoholic Shirley Temple cocktail have been debated, Temple told The Times in 1985 that the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood had named the drink after her.

To learn her lines, Shirley essentially memorized the script as her mother, Gertrude Temple, read it aloud. When Barrymore forgot his lines while filming 1934’s “Carolina,” Shirley sweetly told him what to say, causing the star to “roar like a singed cat,” actor Robert Young later recalled.


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RIP Shirley Temple Black


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Re: Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star, dies at 85

Post by midangerous on Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:08 am

I loved watching her movies growing up, I always tried to imitate her and drive my sister up the wall singing "animal crackers". I know that Michael loved her too RIP Shirley Temple.  Sad 
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Michael Jackson quote about Shirley Temple

Post by Capricious Anomaly on Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:57 pm

Michael Jackson quote about Shirley Temple:

"I used to think that I was unique in feeling that I was without a childhood. I believed that indeed there were only a handful with whom I could share those feelings. When I recently met with Shirley Temple Black, the great child star of the 1930s and 40s, we said nothing to each other at first, we simply cried together, for she could share a pain with me that only others like my close friends Elizabeth Taylor and McCauley Culkin know.''

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Re: Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star, dies at 85

Post by Capricious Anomaly on Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:26 pm

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Re: Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star, dies at 85

Post by ijustcan'tstoplovinguMJ on Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:58 pm

I cannot believe this, this is so tragic, I'm not very familiar with her movies except one but she is just amazing. R.I.P
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Re: Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star, dies at 85

Post by midangerous on Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:04 am

I'll never forget that cute face :

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Re: Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star, dies at 85

Post by midangerous on Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:09 am

I remember this stair dance I really liked it:

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Re: Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star, dies at 85

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