Shirley Temple: The Story Of A Child Star Who Never Let The Dark Side Of Hollywood Get To Her
Hollywood is an industry that seduces many with its glitz and glamour. Unfortunately, it has also been shown to have a dark side. Many actors and actresses, especially those introduced to the industry at a very young age, often experience the pressure and unsavoury aspect of Hollywood.
Today we will be talking about Shirley Temple, a child star who started very promising enough, but unfortunately, things did not always go as smoothly as she would have liked.
Shirley Temple was born on April 23, 1928, to Gertrude Amelia Temple and George Francis Temple. Since she was young, her mother encouraged her to explore and hone her singing, dancing and acting talents. When she was three years old, Gertrude enrolled her little girl at a dance school. It was around this time that she started doing her daughter's hair in ringlets, a look she soon became famous for.
In 1932, she was discovered for her acting skills after which she was signed with Educational Studios. She got a role in Baby Burlesks not long after. She also had a few advertising gigs.
Unfortunately, her time at Educational Studios was plagued with negative experiences. In fact, people have described that establishment as 'infantile slave labour.' Shirley and other children were forced to rehearse two weeks without getting paid and were often made to 'cool off' in a 'punishment box' that contained a large block of ice whenever they misbehaved.
Educational Films did eventually go bankrupt but at the time, a lot of people already knew Shirley. Her fame shot even higher when she had a role in 'Stand Up And Cheer.'
The life of a movie star
As a child, Shirley was surrounded by several people who saw her as a moneymaker. After a big role in Now I'll Tell, which she starred in while at Fox, she was loaned to Paramount for a lead in Little Miss Marker.
Her costar in that movie revealed that, to get her to cry on cue, the director once had to tell the terrified little girl that her mother had been "kidnapped by an ugly man, all green with blood-red eyes" while keeping the cameras rolling.
The movie became a huge hit and so did "Baby Take A Bow," another film in which she starred. In fact, she made such a big name for herself that then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt was once quoted as saying, "as long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be all right."
Regardless of how rich and famous she was getting, Shirley never got to see much of the money she made. Even though her mother was given $250 a week and $35,000 was kept in a trust for her for each movie she made, Shirley was only given $13 per month as pocket money.
Personal life and fall of her career
In 1939, a majority of fans began to notice the dwindling of her fame. By the time she played a 13-year-old girl in the movies 'Since You Went Away', 'I'll Be Seeing You' and 'Kiss And Tell,' the Hollywood producers began to notice that her cute, childhood aura was waning and as a teenager, she was not as bankable.
In 1945, the age of 17, she married John Agar. They had a daughter in 1949 but the marriage did not last long.
Even though she still acted in films, they were not as remarkable as her movies once were.
In 1959, she met and married businessman Charles Alden Black. Shirley had two more kids with him. On August 4, 2005, her husband passed away from a bone marrow disease at the age of 86.
In February 2014, the Hollywood icon passed away in her California home. She was 85.
Despite her fame, glamour and success, including her rise and fall in the industry, Shirley Temple remained a strong and determined woman to the very end. She did not succumb to a life of alcohol and drugs which most child stars tend to become victims of.
She was a legend and an American icon. The world will miss both the curly-haired little girl and the courageous and talented woman she grew up to be.