|Shirley Jane Temple
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.
Education: The Meklin School; Westlake School for Girls
Delegate to the United Nations
U.S. Ambassador to Ghana
U.S. Chief of Protocol
U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia
Juvenile Award, The 7th Annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Awards
Career Achievement Award, National Board of Review
Recipient of Kennedy Center Honors
Life Achievement Award, The Screen Actors Guild
1938 1937 In Review
1939 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1940 Lux Radio Theatre
1941 America Calling
1941 United China Relief
1941 Shirley Temple Time
1942 Command Performance
1942 Junior Miss
1943 Mail Call
1944 Chesterfield Music Shop
1945 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1945 The Pepsodent Show
1945 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater
1946 Theater of Romance
1947 Academy Awards Program
1948 March Of Dimes
1948 Family Theater
1950 Bill Stern Colgate Sports Newsreel
1953 Bud's Bandwagon
1957 Recollections At Thirty
1965 V-E Anniversary
To the Rear March
Yank Swing Session
Shirley Temple at CBS mike for Shirley Temple Time (1941).
Shirley Temple is presented a commemorative surfboard during her 1935 visit to the Hawaiian Islands.
Caption reads -- One of Shirley's best-known and earliest roles was as 'The Little Colonel,' with Lionel Barrymore as co-star.
LIFE caption reads, 'AT 6 winsome Shirley scored a hit in Stand Up and Cheer.'
Associated Press photo caption reads -- 'Every effort was made to give Shirley a normal life. She
spent three hours daily with her tutor, Frances Klamt.'
'Shirley Temple Grows Up' on the cover of the March 30th 1942 LIFE magazine.
Sgt. John Agar and Shirley Temple share glasses of domestic champagne at their wedding.
Associated Press photo caption reads -- 'Shirley's first marriage, at 17, was to John George Agar, 24, but it ended in divorce less than five years later.'
Shirley Temple talks to her baby, Linda Susan, for May 31st 1945 LIFE magazine.
Caption reads -- 'A prized possession of Mrs. Charles Eldon Black (Shirley Temple) is scrapbook recording of her family's activities.'
Shirley Temple married Charles Black in December of 1950.
LIFE Magazine featured Shirley Temple Black in its February 3rd 1958 issue.
Shirley Temple as she appeared in her premiere of 'Shirley Temple's Storybook,' television program.
LIFE magazine article caption reads -- 'SHIRLEY AT 3 played a scrubwoman in Rags to Riches. This was part of series, Baby Burlesks, that kidded adult movies and launched Shirley in films.'
LIFE magazine article caption reads -- 'STORY HOUR AT HOME finds Shirley and husband reading to Charles, 5, Linda Susan, 10, Lori, 3.'
LIFE magazine article caption reads -- 'SHIRLEY TODAY at a Los Angeles press conference displays some new vinyl models of Shirley Temple dolls, which were first marketed 23 years ago.'
|From the August 16th 1953 edition of the Oakland Tribune:
By KENDIS ROCHLEN
Shirley Temple, the kid who grew up in Hollywood's dream world to the tune of millions of bucks and almost as many heartaches, is "back down on earth today, the happiest housewife in Beverly Hills.
In an exclusive interview, the girl who was a millionaire at and the most famous child in the world, sat in the small canyon home she has just rented, playing to the hilt her favorite role: Mrs. Charles Alden Black.
For the first time since she left films and a broken marriage with Actor John Agar behind her, Shirley Temple told the story of her switch from make-believe to reality, from script to cook-book.
Hollywood's "dimpled darling," who for more than 10 years kept marquee lights aglow, today is interested only in keeping the home fires burning. And she's giving a four-star performance as housewife and mother.
"I'm so happy," the 25-year-old Shirley smiled as she pulled out the scrapbook she and Charles have kept since their marriage two and a half years ago.
"I've found a whole new world with my husband and my children," she added as we thumbed through the pages. "I have everything I want now. I don't miss my career a bit. This book tells the story. I hope it doesn't bore you."
It didn't. Thumbing through these memories with Shirley was like reliving her life with her.
The pictures and clippings, so carefully pasted in by Shirley, chronicle everything that has happened to Mr. and Mrs. Black since their quiet wedding December 16, 1950. Except for the photos of some of the famous personalities they met in Washington, D.C., the book might have been kept by Mrs. Jones down the street.
NOT GLAMOR STUFF
Instead of Hollywood glamor pictures it contains favorite Christmas cards and birth announcements from friends. There are pictures of Shirley, not all of them flattering, taken by her camera-bug husband.
There's Shirley and Charles kissing in the kitchen on their first wedding anniversary and clowning it up a bit for the friend who snapped the shot. There's Shirley in jeans and shirt and no make-up playing with their boxer dog. There's Shirley and her new son, their heads cut off a bit, slightly out of focus. And, of course, there are just as many shots of Papa Black and Shirley's daughter by her first marriage, Linda Susan, 5 1/2.
Like any parents, the Blacks recorded with their camera "Susie's" Christmases, their family gatherings and all the
other activities that have, made a new world for "Little Miss Marker."
The Black family recently returned to Hollywood from Bethesda, Md., where they lived in "a small rambling home" while Charles was attached to the Navy Department in Washington, D.C. Like most of her neighbors, Shirley did all her own housework.
The handsome, 34-year-old Stanford graduate was recalled to active duty as a lieutenant commander shortly after his marriage to Shirley. His bride went right along, announcing that she was through with movies and that the only contract she was interested in was the one she had just signed with Charles.
Today, busy getting settled in the home they have leased until they can build their own, Shirley reaffirmed that statement. But she left herself a small opening.
"I won't say that I'm never going to act again. Maybe later, when the children are older. I might try TV or
something. But right now the only thing I'm interested in is running my home and living a normal life," added the girl whose films have earned more than $20,000,000 and who is said to have banked more than 81,000,000 herself.
As to current rumors in the trade that she's agreed to star in a TV series if her husband is taken into the deal as a producer, Shirley sticks to her denials.
"I don't know anything about that. I'm not even listening to offers," she insisted.
EXPERT WITH DIAPER
"Despite the talk, I have no agent, no publicity man--and right now it's time to change my baby's diapers!"
The girl who competently changed the diaper on 15-month-old Charles Alden Black Jr. still has a touch of the winsome appeal which made her a world-wide film sensation at the age of 6.
But in place of the Meglin Kiddie cuteness and the later adolescent smugness, there is now the mature, natural charm of a young woman. Shirley Temple is an adult.
As filmland showcase kid, whose life from dolls to divorce was duly chronicled in the daily press, Shirley has always had a certain poise. But it was the kind acquired from being continually on public view--almost a defensive arrogance.
The gracious Mrs. Black who brewed a pot of coffee while we went through the scrapbook displayed a new poise, a new assurance--the kind that stems from private happiness.
STILL HAS APPEAL
Though in her new role she does all her own housework, cooking and marketing, Shirley doesn't look the part of a haus-frau.
A petite girl, she still could pass for a teen-ager in her simple cotton housedresses and open sandals. There were those who predicted that the cute and chubby youngster of the screen would grow up to be just plain chunky and not-so-cute.
Shirley has proved them wrong. Though not the siren type, she still has plenty of appeal. She is 5 feet 2 1/2 inches tall, weighs 105 pounds.
Her once golden hair is now an attractive dark brown, and not that phony mahogany movie hue, either. In place of the bouncy ringlets of her childhood and the fluffy longbob of her teen years, Shirley now has a smart shingled bob, almost wind-blown.
WASHES OWN HAIR
"I guess it looks a mess today," she laughed, running her fingers through her short hair. "I wash and set it myself. But I didn't put it up last night."
Shirley was wearing a smart blue cotton dress with a low, scooped neckline and red embroidery around the hem.
"I seldom dress up any more," she explained. "I prefer casual clothes and I buy my things ready-made."
The Black home is furnished in casual style, too. "I guess you would call it a sort of mixed-up period," Shirley laugher, explaining that she was her own decorator.
The living room sofa and chairs, which date back to the Temple family home of 1941, have new plain blue and striped denim slip covers. The house is pleasant, but not pretentious.
STILL GETTING SETTLED
"The furniture just arrived from Maryland last week, and I'm still getting settled," she added.
Shirley fingered her impressive diamond engagement ring and diamond-studded wedding circlet as she explained why she has no servants and lives so quietly.
"I do my own work because there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. I like to cook. What's more, I'm pretty good at it," she said frankly.
Though Shirley has always refused to discuss her financial affairs or the reports that Black is heir to a sizeable fortune, she readily admitted that money is no problem.
"I guess I'm just the domestic type," she laughed, "and I've never been so happy."
Copyright 1953 for The Tribune
From the February 17th 1958 edition of the Schenectady Gazette, a six-part series, Shirley: The Magic Temple, Article 1:
Shirley Temple, the adorable moppet of the movies of a quarter of a century ago, has emerged from retirement and has rocketed to the top of television. Breaking a promise to resist all lures to resume her career, she has responded to the clamor of a public that remembers her as "Little Miss Marker" and the clamor of a public that never had seen her. Now happily married and a model wife and mother, Shirley is Herbert Kamm's subject for a series of six articles, of which this is the first.
By HERBERT KAMM
On Sunday evening, Jan. 12, at 5 p.m., Pacific Coast time, Shirley Temple smiled that incomparable dimpled smile of hers into a television camera in Hollywood.
In a twinkling of an electronic eye, millions of Americans suddenly felt a little older, and for millions more, familiar with the name of Shirley Temple only because of what they had read or heard from nostalgic elders, a legend had come to life.
It was in consonance with the title of her television series -- "Shirley Temple's Storybook" -- another dramatic chapter in a saga so filled with wonder that even some of the fairy tales in her TV repertoire pale by comparison.
A QUARTER of a century has passed since an adorable moppet with a riot of blonde curls romped across movie screens in such memorable films as "Little Miss Marker," "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," "Curly Top," "Poor Little Rich Girl," and "The Little Colonel," all of which are being seen again or soon will be, on television.
But the rush of the years didn't obscure the Shirley Temple image, and it surprised no one when her maiden appearance on live television captured one of the largest audiences in the history of the medium.
She looked indeed like a fairy princess as she stood before the cameras at NBC's color studio in Hollywood, not far from the movie lots where she became the most beloved little girl in the world.
SHE WORE a gown of pink and blue net with an outer skirt of imported French lace, its sequins glittering. A filmy stole caressed her bare shoulders. Her hair, now a deep brown with a slightly reddish tinge, heighted flawless complexion. And then, of course, there was that smile with the corners of her mouth dimpled.
Actually, her role in this initial telecast of her 16 special one-hour programs based on classic fairy tales, was relatively minor. In a voice still sweetly reminiscent of her childhood triumphs, she sang her theme song, "Dreams Are Made for Children," and then merely supplied the necessary narrative for the portrayal of "Beauty and The Beast."
But it was the magic of Temple which lured viewers--the return of the delightful darling who has, to be sure, grown up but who also will always be the Shirley Temple of yesteryear if she lives to be a thousand.
THE LEGEND is indestructible, not only because there is none in entertainment history to compare with it, but because Shirley's life has been as ideal as one could wish. Even the imperfections have turned out for the best.
When her acting career foundered in the high seas of teenage awkwardness, she quietly withdrew into retirement to learn, as she put it in a recent interview, "the art of maturing." She had learned it beautifully.
The greatest test of her mettle came at 21, when her marriage to Joh Agar, Jr., an Army sergeant who later became an actor, collapsed after four trying years. Hollywood skeptics and even a large segment of her public, viewed the experience as one which would shatter her.
It not only didn't shatter her but, she feels, prepared her for what is now an idyllic union with "the best and finest person who ever dame into my life" -- Charles Black, nine years her senior, a tall, handsome soft-spoken business executive whom she married a year after the divorce.
AT 29--she'll be 30 on April 23--Shirley is a contented, blissfully happy wife, mother (Linda Susan, 10, Charles Jr., soon to be six, and Lori, soon to be four), interior decorator, gardener and civic worker. Also part-time actress.
Why the comeback? It certainly wasn't for money. Shirly started working for a salary at the age of four, getting $150 a week when $150 was real money. By 1937, when she was nine, she was making $300,000 a year, the seventh largest-salaried income in the country.
"Those TV producers just wore me down," she said of her capitulation. "They kept after me. They pointed out that 20th Century-Fox had released all of my old movies to TV. They said, "Why don't you let the public see you as you are--not as you were?"
THE COUP finally was scored by Bill Phillipson, executive producer for Henry Jaffe Enterprises, who hatched the idea of Shirly serving as hostess-narrator--and occasionally the star--of a series of fairy tales.
"I'm a pushover for fairy tales," Shirley confessed. "Furthermore, I've long felt there was a need for more shows that would appeal to the entire family, and certainly this series was designed with just that kind of family appeal in mind. So here I am."
The financial deal--which can't be overlooked entirely, even in fairy tales--calls for her to receive a flat fee of $100,000 plus 25 per cent of the profits from re-runs. She has no financial interest incidentally, in the sale of her old movies to television.
Shirley insists that the lure of the limelight was no factor in her decision.
"I went into show business in 1932, which I was four," she said. The last movie I made, "A Kiss for Corliss," was released in 1950. That's 18 years of limelight, enough to last a lifetime.
"WHAT'S important to me now is my marriage. To preserve marriage I've found a woman must first of all keep her husband happy. Keeping Charlie happy--that's what counts most in my scheme of things. Then come the children. If anything, the spotlight comes last.
(Copyright 1958, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
Tomorrow: The inside story of Shirley's first television show, and how her family reacted to it.
From the February 18th 1958 edition of the Schenectady Gazette, a six-part series, Shirley: The Magic Temple, Article 2:
Shirley: The Magic Temple
Severest Critic is Daughter, Lori
Editor's Note: This the second of six articles about the magnificent moppet of the movies who, 25 years later, has won the hearts of television fans. Herbert Kamm, magazine editor of the New York World-Telegram and Sun, yesterday told us what moved Shirley to make a comeback, and today writes of the reaction in the Temple Household to her first appearance on TV.
By HERBERT KAMM
Tremendous trooper though she is, Shirley Temple suffered a bad case of stage fright in her live television debut early in January.
It cost her, among other things, the loss of three pounds and several nights of worry over whether the public mush of which will always remember her as "Little Miss Marker" of the movies would welcome her back warmly.
Like every other chapter in her storybook life though, this one had its happy ending, right down to such details as tears of joy and a gouch of professional jealousy from the youngest of her three children.
The the show went off with perfection, winning raves frm the critics as well as the masses, was not accident. Shirley put in only three days of work on it at the NBC color studio in Hollywood by her total labors were more than she had devoted to any of the films she made while winning international acclaim as a child star in the early 1930s.
"I wanted it to be better than anything I've ever done," she explained, "and I ken my old press clippings weren't going to help me."
In the privacy of her home in Atherton, Calif., a suburb of San Francisco, she spent weeks poring over the sript for "Beauty and the Beast," the first of the 16 hour-long fairy tale dramatizations which comprise the "Shirley Temple Storybook" series.
Astute little business woman that she is, the contract she signed give her final say over every script. She even has it written into her contract that she will not do the commercials for her shampoo and ice cream sponsors. As one observer noted, "When you start in the entertainment business at the age of three, as Shirley did, you learn not to be pushed around."
She will star in several of the stories, but her participation in the first one was limited to singing the series theme song, "Dreams Are Made for Children," and prsideing as hostess-narrator. All the same, she bent to the task as if her life depended on its success.
She brought a tape recorder from the firm with which her husband, Charles Black, happens to be a ranking executive but she wouldn't accept a recorder for free. She st it up in the family room of her home and, during the orning hours when the three children were in school, sang and recited her lines into the contraption.
"I'm sure I could have used the help of a coach," she said, "but I had to do all my own coaching by playing back the tape and criticizing myself. That tape recorder turned out to be my fourth child. "
Two days before the show wnt on the air, Shirley drove to San Francisco Airport and hopped a plane for the hour and 20-minute flight to the television studio in Hollywood. There an entire new world opened for her.
"Strange as it may seem," she said, "I had never been in a television studio before and wasn't too sure what the cameras were like.
"Everyone greeted me like a princess, but I'm sure I was a nervous princess, with shaking knees. I spent hours in the control room and talking to the directors, the floor managers and the cameramen. It was all very involved and very exciting, much more complicated than the movies. It resally surprised me that everythinng went so smoothly. I couldn't see how they could have five cameras on the stage going in five different directions without a collission, but there wasn't a single hitch."
The show itself seems like a dream to Shirley. "I know my heart stopped when the red light of the camera whent on," she confessed, "and I felt myself melting under the weight of my dress. It had about 15 petticoats, and I'm sold it weighed 17 pounds."
Not until the performance ended did Shirley really feel certain that she has retained the charm and poise with which she was gifted as a child.
"When I saw Mother afterwards," she said with a tremor in her voice, "she was quite teary. I knew then that we hadn't failed."
Several hours later, the entire Temple clan saw a kinescope of the show -- Shirley, her husband, her parents and her oldest brother and sister-in-law in Hollywood and the Temple children at their home in Atherton.
"We all sat there and sort of gasped, becasue we didn't realize how smoothly it went," said Shirley. "I was delighted. It was just what everyone promised me it would be in genuine warmth and quality."
Promptly after the kinescope, Shirley telephoned the children -- Linda Susan, 10, Charles Jr., going on six, and Lori, going on four.
"They were very excited," Shirley said, "and loved my dress and wanted to know if I was going to bring it home. The only complaint came from Lori. She was still quite upset that I didn't take her to the studio. She wanted to sing "Teentsie Weentsie Spider" on the show. I told her I didn't think it would fit, but she still feels I ought to let her sing it, and if I know Lori I may have to before the series runs out."
In a thoroughly serious vein, Shirley said she was relieved that the children weren't frightened by the "Beast" in the fairy tale.
"All of these stories are lovely, but some of the characters in them could frighten children if not portrayed properly. If that were to happen, it would defeat the entire purpose of them--to bring wholesome, joyful entertainment to the whole family and to kindle new interest in books and fairy tales."
Finally, if Shirley Temple had any doubts that the public which adored her 25 years ago still adored her, they were dispelled by the hundreds of letters which poured into her home in the next few days.
The one which pleased her most came from an Air Force major. It said simply, "Dear Little Miss Marker: Magnificent!."
Tomorrow: Shirley Temple's home life and her philosophy about raising children.
From the February 19th 1958 edition of the Schenectady Gazette, a six-part series, Shirley: The Magic Temple, Article 3:
Shirley: The Magic Temple
This the third of six articles about the fabulous Shirley Temple. We have learned what moved her to make a comeback on television and of the reaction of her family to her first successful appearance. Today she philosophizes about raising children--her own.
By HERBERT KAMM
When Shirley Temple as at the peak of her popularity as a child movie star 25 years ago, she used to be driven to and from the studio in a locked, quiet-proof limousine with a bodyguard at her side.
The Temple home was guarded day and night. The windows were barred inside and out. Every approach to the house was wired and connected with central police headquarters.
She was, in effect, a prisoner of her own fame, and quite understandably so. She was earing better than a quarter of a million dollars a year at the time and her appearance on a public street could touch off bedlam among grownups as well as children.
HAD SHIRLEY reached maturity afflicted with an assortment of neuroses and personality quirks, they might easily ahve been attributed to such early experiences. After all, many an adult heronie has gone off the deep and under the influence of considerably less attention and adulation.
Much of the credit for her gracious metamorphosis belongs to her parents. Mr. and Mrs. George Temple saw to it that their gifted daughter grew up as normally as challenging circumstances would permit. "The were very level-headed about it all," she said in a recent interview.
There was a large assist, too, from Winfield Sheehan, head of Fox Studios, during that heady era when Shirley shattered all box office records and won special Academy Awards for four straight years. She recalled: "He gave me my little cottage, with swings and rabbits in the yeard, and forbade me to go to the commisary for lunch. That was were the children got to be little smart-alcks."
THE TRIUMPH is, however, essentially a personal one.
Even as her parents concede that Shirley is unspoiled today because the lovely matron who is now Mrs. Charles Alden Black Jr. was determined that, while she would fondly remeber the past, she would not continue to live in it.
"I look upon the me of those days as my little sister," she remarked. "It is a funny feeling. I know her well but not as myself."
A long-time admirer put it another way: "She's the little sweetheart now that she was 25 years ago--except that this time it's permanent."
With her 30th birthday fast approaching, Shirley presides over a nine-room ranch-type home in Atherton, Calif., with the sort of quiet competence that should be an inspirationo to every young lady in America contemplating matrimony and motherhood.
Although her entry into television has encroached upon her personal time and also compelled her to hire a cook, she is undisputed boss of her home and a dedicated companion to her husband and their three children.
MOREOVER, she finds time to carry on a profitable part-time business as an interior decorator, to putter in the garden and to fulfill a variety of civic duties, notably in behalf of a number of charities dedicated to helping sick and underprivileged children.
In going about these myriad activities, she ask no special treatment or courtesies. People still write to her home for autographs and she occasionally will be stopped on the street by an admirer more intent on satisfying his curiosity than indulging in hero worship. Except for such deviations, however, she is accepted like any other member of the community and is never compelled to seek privilege, much less take refuge in a bullet-proof limousine.
But it is in her dealings with her children-- Linda Susan, 10, Charles Jr., going on six, and Lori, soon to be four--that Shirley's finest qualities emerge, perhaps because she is so eager that their formative years be as happy as her own, and less hectic.
THE HOURS she evotes to her television series are limited to a few a month so that there will be no wrench to domestic tranquility.
"These are such precious years with the children," she said, "that I wouldn't think of having them interferred with."
Further, she wisely decided some time ago that Susie and Charlie and Lori would not be "protected" from the legend of Shriley Temple but would grow up with it casually and modestly.
"I have copies of most of the movies I made," she reveals, " and we permit the chilren to see them from time to time. The children like them very much, but they were a little puzzled when they saw some of the same films on televisioin. The commercials got them confused."
Susie, who looks very much like her father, actor John Agar (he and Shirley were divorced in 1949 after a four-year marriage), is described by her mother as "my serious little girl."
"SHE'S GOING to be a very fine writer someday," Shirley said with undisguised pride, "She's constantly turning out poems that are very original and very sweet. One of them, called, 'Winter', won a prize from a Boston publishing firm. She also plays the piano and shows a great aptitude for composition."
Lori thinks she wants to be an actress, her mother reports, and Charles Jr. insists right now that he will be a policeman or a doctor.
"Doctor will probably win out, " Shirly said with a laugh, "because I wanted to be the one from the time I can remember, and my grandfather was a country doctor in Pennsylvania."
Shirley has some pretty firm ideas as to how her children--not children generally, but her children--should be brought up.
"I DON'T THINK you can let television be the entertainer of the family," she said. "You have to continue to give children projects, like making Valentines or coloring, or playing the piano, or whatever their interests are. We try to stimulate reading, which is one of the reasons I like the fairy tales we're telling on my television series."
"Also, I sepxect children to mind. I'm Pennsylvania Dutch on my fahter's side and mother is German and French. I must say I'm a little on the Germanic side. I don't spnk the children unless I have to--and sometimes I have to."
Was Shirley Temple ever spanked?
Historians should take not of the answer: "Never once."
(Copyright, 1958 by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
Tomorrow: The tragedy which befell Shirley's brother and how it influences her life today.
From the February 20th 1958 edition of the Schenectady Gazette, a six-part series, Shirley: The Magic Temple, Article 4:
Shirley: The Magic Temple
Fourth of six articles about the fabulous Shirley Temple, who is starting a second successful career in the entertainment world. Today Herbert Kamm writes of how tragedy struck one of Shirley's brothers, her idol, which moved her to devote much of her time to help handicapped children.
By HERBERT KAMM
Shirley Temple is so extremely fond of children--all children--that she can't seem to find enough hours in the day to devote to them. The dedication stems from her own childhood, which was at once blissful and abnormal.
During those years a generation ago when she was the movie idol of all the world, Shirley had everything she could wish. "It was marvelous," she remarked in a recent interview. "Because it was like living in books instead of just reading them."
But, though there is no evidence that she ever complained, if indeed she was aware of it, she also was deprived of some of the precious joys of the average child.
The famous curly-haired moppet had a limited coterie of friends and did most of her playing at home. For one thing, she usually worked at the movie studio from 9 to 5. For another, children who were not used to her were too much in awe of her to play with her.
Many times, when her family lived in Brentwood Heights, Calif., she would go to the beach with her shovel and bucket to play in the sand with the other children, but eventually one of them would recognize her and cry, "It's Shirley Temple!" So she would pick up her bucket and shovel and go home.
On another occasion she managed to leave the house and grounds unnoticed. There was a frantic search for her. The house notified the studio; the studio notified the police. A cordon was thrown around the neighborhood.
One of the detectives saw a little girl a few blocks from the house, making mud pies on the corner and offering them to passerby. When he came closer and the little ragamuffin offered to sell him a mud pie for a penny, he looked again and saw a dirty face that was strangely familiar. It was Shirley--and she never wandered off again.
It is small wonder then, that Shirley strives mightily now to keep fences, real or imagined, from growing up around her own three offspring and spends so much time working in behalf of children's charities.
There is still another factor, a poignant one about which she rarely talks.
Shirley has two brothers, Jack, who is 43 is 13 years her senior, and George Jr., who is 38. For a time, Jack was an assistant movie director, but since 1946 he has been an FBI agent.
George, although he was painfully shy as a child, has always been Shirley's idol. "He was a wonderful athlete in his youth," she remembers. "There wasn't a sport he couldn't master, and he loved being active."
Some years ago, after having re-enlisted in the Army, George was stricken with multiple sclerosis. It was a tragedy for him and no less a blow to the adoring sister who looked up him as the all-American boy. George has found comfort and solace in Christian Science. For Shirley, working for the Multiple Sclerosis Society is more than a charity. It is a calling.
As a member of the MS board in the region which embraces her home at Atherton, Calif., Shirley played a major role in raising funds to construct a rehabilitation center where post-polio and heart disease cases, as well as multiple sclerosis victims, are treated.
"We've held a number of parties and fashion shows," she said. "I was a jewel girl in last year's fashion show and wore more gems than a vamp in a silent movie."
Another of the six charities in which Shirley is active--all of them work in behalf of children who are crippled or who have incurable diseases or diseases of long duration--raises money for the Stanford Convalescent Home. The former "Little Miss Marker" of the movies is a volunteer salesgirl in the gift shop, and it goes without saying that she always does a brisk business.
One might suspect that Shirley's fame, kindled anew by her comeback to the entertainment world through a new television series, would interfere with her community functions. Truth is, though, that the other women go out of their way to make her feel that she is one of them, rather than apart from them.
There is, for instance, the Peninsula Children's Theater Association, through which mothers and housewives of the area "can bring good live theater to children at a minimum price."
"We usually have about 150 handicapped children who are admitted free," Shirley explained. "The rest pay. We produce the play ourselves and make all the costumes and sets ourselves. It's a strange thing, though, The women won't let me act in any of them. I've done make-up. I've designed and painted sets. I've even been an usher and served as publicity chairman. But the women, bless them, refuse to do anything that could be construed as commercializing my reputation. I feel a little frustrated - but I love them for it."
Her co-workers also understand that Shirley doesn't want her own children exploited. For one thing, they go to school like other children. That includes the youngest, Lori, almost four, who attends nursery school. For another, Shirley wants them to grow up without preconceived notions about the careers they should pursue and to know the value of a dollar. That's something it took Shirley herself a little time to learn, as evidenced by an episode when she was nine years old and producing box office millions.
Anyone she liked in those legendary days was given a badge which read "Shirley Temple Police." Anyone she didn't like was fined, the money going into a charity fund.
At first she would fine the members of the film company a dollar, but her mother soon put a stop to that, pointing out to Shirley that a lot of people couldn't afford to be fined a dollar every time she got the idea. It was suggested that a nickel would be more suitable. That surprised Shirley, because a dollar meant nothing at all, but a nickel was a huge sum: the price of an ice cream cone.
Such wisdom by her parents and Shirley's own intelligence--her IQ as a child was 155, or genius rating--soon gave her a perspective which has matured beautifully with her. She is not enamored of herself in the least and considers it not at all unusual that she should want to give so much of herself to others, especially children.
"I want people to like me for what I am," she says, "as well as for what I was."
(Copyright, 1958, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
Tomorrow: Shirley and her husband, and how they live.
From the February 21st 1958 edition of the Schenectady Gazette, a six-part series, Shirley: The Magic Temple, Article 5:
Shirley: The Magic Temple
This is the fifth of six articles about the fabulous Shirley Temple, who, at 30 is in the midst of a second successful career which she says is not a career.
By HERBERT HAMM
There is hardly a fairy tale in which the heroine must not endure a major crisis--a test of her character, as it were--before emerging into the sunlight to find her knight in shining armor.
And so it was in the fairy tale which has been the true life story of Shirley Temple.
When Shirley married John Agar Jr. at the age of 17, a whole world rejoiced, for it meant that the one-time little dimpled darling they all loved had reached the zenith of happiness and would now ride off into the horizon to live blissfully ever after.
OR SO EVERYONE thought and hoped. Actually, they were a chapter or so ahead of the story.
This was not the climax. This was the crisis. Freshly graduated from the Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles and struggling awkwardly with teen-age movie roles, Shirley had embarked on a journey for which she was ill-prepared. Nor was Agar, handsome, square-jawed scion of an Illinois family, any better prepared.
The union lasted four years, in the third year of which a daughter, Linda Susan, was born. During the same period, Agar, who was an Army sergeant when he and Shirley fell in love, became an actor. In fact, they made two movies together, "Fort Apache" and "Baltimore Escapade."
BUT, AS A FAMILY friend saw it, "Neither of these kids knew what marriage was all about. Young Agar had no trade, and Shirley had no idea of what marriage really entailed."
In 1949, to their own dismay and to the dismay of people everywhere, Shirley and her husband were divorced. Here, now, was the test of her character--and a test of fairy-tale tradition. As her still-adoring world knows, Shirley was equal to it, and people can go right on believing in those fairy tales.
While on a trip to Hawaii, Shirley met Charles Alden Black, equally as handsome as Agar, but nine years older than Shirley, a success in his own right, quiet and mature. They were married Dec. 16, 1950, and Shirley announced her retirement from show business.
THERE IS NOT a shred of doubt in anyone's mind this time. This is indeed the happy ending--or, more accurately, the happy beginning.
If there are two people more compatible than the Charles Alden Blacks of Atherton, Calif., they exist only in fiction. Their happiness and devotion to each other explains why the television producers had such a time of it convincing Shirley she should make a comeback. She yielded only laying down a strict set of ground rules, most important of which is that she will spend only a few days away from home for each of her 16 NBC shows.
Their ground spreads over one and a third acres, but 3,500 square feet of it is green cement. CHARLEY AND I had it paved so we wouldn't have to spend so much of our time cutting grass. When it gets dirty, we just wash it off. The children complained there was no place for them to do somersaults or play croquet, so we did put in two small areas of grass," Shirley confessed.
There may be precious little grass, but the grounds abound with flowers and trees, and Shirley and her husband spend happy hours as amateur gardeners. "We have daphne, about 200 red tulips, rose bushes, Hawaiian white ginger plants, bamboo trees, lemon trees and one tangerine tree," Shirley calculated. "When I bought the tangerine tree, I thought it was a lime tree, but I guess it just doesn't want to be a lime tree."
As escape from his executive duties with the Ampex Corp. in Redwood City, Calif., manufacturers of precision instruments, Black also enjoys golf, badminton, and bridge with his wife.
THEN THERE IS Shirley's considerable talent as an interior decorator, an art in which she holds a professional license.
"My interest in it evidently started when I was a little girl over at Fox Studios," Shirley said, "Arthur Little, who as set designer, would make beautiful scale models of the sets for my movies and I just loved them. They were like doll houses.
"Then, during the Korean was, when Charley was serving in the Navy and we lived in Washington, I began to take it up seriously, and right now I'm doing a house from top to bottom. It's just a hobby, and I don't pretend to be a decorator's decorator, but I do enjoy it."
The interior of her own home can be described as simple, with class. And, true to her vow that she will not live in the past, surrounded by memories, there is but one visible piece of evidence of her fame and fortune as a child movie star: one bookshelf has a line of leather-bound photograph albums, each bearing the title of one of her movies.
"MY TASTE is very conservative," she said. I must admit I'm drawn to oriental things, but I don't think one can have many unless the house is all to be oriental."
Shirley and her husband rarely are seen in night clubs, and they also are infrequent movie-goers. "I'd like to see more movies," she said, "but there never seems to be time to go. There are always so many more enjoyable things to do at home, and now there is this new television series. Charley and the children come first, and the minute my husband shows the slightest sign of being irritated or neglected by my television commitments, I'll stop cold."
HER FATHER, now 67, and her mother live in a little house on a golf course in Palm Springs. George Temple was a bank teller when his daughter was a child star. He is retired now but serves on several bank and investment company boards. His wealth is his own. Every penny Shirley earned in the movies was invested for her in her own name.
Summing it all up--her husband, her children, her parents, her fame, her fortune, her utter contentment with everything, she said: "It does seem like a fairy tale, doesn't it!"
(Copyright, 1958, by United Features Syndicate, Inc.)
Tomorrow: How Shirley views the future--and the prospect of returning to the movies.
From the February 22nd 1958 edition of the Schenectady Gazette, a six-part series, Shirley: The Magic Temple, Article 6:
Shirley: The Magic Temple
Last of six articles about the fabulous Shirley Temple, who, at 30, is in the midst of a second successful career, which she says is not a career.
BY HERBERT KAMM
It is a mark of Shirley Temple's greatness that there never has been a child movie star to equal her, or even come close. Moreover, it is unlikely that there ever will be.
Now nearing her 30th birthday, five-feet two inches and 107 pounds of loveliness, Shirley herself shares that opinion and spells out her reasoning succinctly with considerable logic.
"I class myself with Rin Tin Tin," she says. "At the end of the depression (the era in which she dominated the movies), people were perhaps looking for something to cheer them up. They fell in love with a dog and with a little girl. There were little boy stars then, too.
"But these times are different. People don't seem to be interested in child stars. I don't think it will happen again."
SUPPORTING the theory is the fact that the release of Shirley's old films to television did not stir half as much excitement as her own show business comeback via the same medium. Her "Shirley Temple Storybook" series, 16 one-hour shows on NBC has captured adults and children alike. But having her come back as the dancing, singing, laughing princess of 25 years ago met with muted fanfare.
On the premise that one good turn deserves another, many people expect that Shirley may be tempted to go all the way and even return to the movies now that she has dunked her little tootsies in the cool green of television.
She vows by all that is dear to her that she won't let it happen.
"The thing I don't want to do is get caught up in the career whirl," she said earnestly, "because that's what jeopardizes your family life."
"TAKE THIS TV series I'm doing," she went on." "Soon after word of it got out, I received a couple of letters from fans, young women of my age, asking where they could buy Shirley Temple dolls for their daughters. After I got my husband off to work and got my children off to school, I called the company that made Shirley Temple dolls 15 years ago.
"I told them my old movies were going to be on TV, that I was starting a new series of my own--and would they be interested in putting out the doll again? They said sure. The next thing I knew I was down at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles presiding over a cocktail party for the Ideal Toy Co.
"That's what I mean about one thing leading to another in this business. I had it all as a child. This time I'm going so far and no further."
(The dolls, it might be noted here, earned $150,000 for Shirley when she was a child star. They're now expected to produce $2 million in sales, with Shirley getting five per cent of the gross.)
MARRIED THE LAST eight years to Charles Alden Black, a California business executive, Shirley made her last movie, "A Kiss for Corliss," in 1949 and since rejected many offers.
"I might make a movie on one condition: If I can do it in one day," she said with a twinkle in her dark brown eyes. "That's about the longest I would want to stay away from the family."
The movies may fool her and take her up on the jest, just as television has gone through contortions to get her in its clutches. For the live shows in her series, Shirley spends a maximum of three days away from her stylish home in Atherton, Calif. Any other TV production requires at least a couple of weeks rehearsal, but Shirley does most of her prepping in the privacy of her home and then shows up on the set for the final stages. The filmed shows are being compressed into even less time.
There is one other hurdle the movies will have to clear: Shirley's husband and their two daughter and son. It'll be like trying to get a bill through congress.
"THE WHOLE family gets to together and votes on all of the major decisions," Shirley said. "You'd be surprised how sensible the children can be about matters like this, and I don't think they would want me away from home any more than I am right now."
As for her husband, he stays completely in the background in Shirley's professional affairs, but it is obvious that the handsome, 180-pound six-footer is a determined as she is to keep things in balance.
They've already had a taste of what can happen when the chemistry of fame, mixed with fresh portions of public limelight, is set in motion. Even during her retirement, Shirley averaged about 100 fan letters a week. Since her television debut, they have climbed into the thousands.
"It's a shame I don't get to answer any of them," Shirley remarked, "but I don't have a secretary. I don't even have a decent photograph to send to any of my fans."
While Shirley remembers her childhood as idyllic, she probably remembers, too, how she frequently had to be protected from her own popularity.
THERE WAS the time when her parents, who had never been out of California, decided it would be nice to take a motor trip up to Oregon and Washington. So, without telling anyone, they started out--just Shirley and Mr. and Mrs. George Temple.
They were hardly out of town before they noticed they were being followed, not by one car, but by dozens. Then the cars began to drive up alongside on both sides. The folks simply wanted to see Shirley.
Soon there were collisions and sideswipes, and finally the road was jammed. Troopers rescued them, the studio was notified and a carful of bodyguards was rushed up to escort them on their way.
It was the last time the family enjoyed an informal outing.
It's this sort of thing that Shirley doesn't want for herself any more or for her own family. At best, though, it's going to be a tough thing to fight off, for Shirley is still the magic Temple.
(Copyright, 1958, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
(END OF SERIES)