America’s Sweetheart has Left Us

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We might remember her from a Little Darling DVD commercial saying, “Oh, my duck can do a wonderful trick, my duck can lay an egg,” while older generations remember her during the Great Depression as a sign of hope that things were going to get better. Shirley Temple is one of the most iconic TV stars whose legacy lives on even to this day, even though her career ended long ago.

Shirley Temple Black had grown into the hearts of many people during the Great Depression, and was earning an unheard salary of $50,000 per movie before the age of ten. At eleven years old, she almost received the role as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz before Judy Garland was chosen instead. Temple Black had helped 20th Century Fox out of a economic depression, and in turn, they helped launch her career. From 1935 to 1938, she was top-box star four years in a row.

Her mother, Gertrude Temple, always made sure her daughter was looking her best, she always personally curled her hair for each scene, 56 curls to be exact, and was the one that enrolled her into dancing classes at  a very young age, since before the age of three.

Fox treasured her childhood so much that they wanted to make it last even longer, by erasing an entire year when she turned 6 years old. It wasn’t until her 13th birthday that she uncovered the truth, making the shocking discovery that she was actually 14 years old, a year older.

As she got older, Temple Black’s popularity declined. Retiring at age 22 from filming and marrying Charles Black, she changed her last name from Temple to Temple Black. Temple Black then went from movie making to politics, and from 1967 to 1970, she was a U.S. delegate in the United Nations General Assembly, and was later appointed ambassador to Ghana in 1974.

Wherever she went, people remembered her charming childhood personality, and this helped her though her career as an ambassador, connecting with people because they felt that they already had a connection with her since they had seen her movies and saw her as a child.

Shirley Temple Black died earlier this February in her San Francisco home from natural causes. Even after death, she will always be remembered as the child star who touched the hearts of millions.