Comedy: Shirley Temple


Shirley Temple:

Shirley Jane Temple (born April 23, 1928) is most famous for being an iconic American child actor of the 1930s, although she is also notable for her diplomatic career as an adult. After rising to fame at the age of six with her breakthrough performance in Bright Eyes in 1934, she starred in a series of highly successful films which won her widespread public adulation and saw her become the top grossing star at the American box-office during the height of the Depression. She went on to star in films as a young adult in the 1940s and 1950s. In later life, she became a United States ambassador and diplomat.

Shirley Temple was signed to Fox Film Corporation (which later merged with 20th Century Pictures to become 20th Century Fox) in late 1933, after appearing in Stand Upand Cheer! with James Dunn. Later, she was paired with Dunn in several films, notably her breakthrough blockbuster Bright Eyes. This was the film that saved Fox from near bankruptcy in 1934 at the height of the Great Depression. It was in Bright Eyes that Temple first performed the song that would become one of her trademarks, "On the Good Ship Lollipop". This was closely followed by the film Curly Top, in which she first sang another trademarked song, "Animal Crackers in My Soup". In 1936, Temple was paid an unprecedented amount of money for her work on Poor Little Rich Girl: $15,000 per week. It was during this period, in the depth of the Depression, when her films were seen as bringing hope and optimism, that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is reported to have proclaimed that "as long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be all right."

In sixteen of the thirty films Temple made for Fox, she played characters with at least one dead parent. This was part of the formula for her films, which encouraged the adults in the audience to take on the role of her parent.

While at Fox, Temple became the studio's most lucrative player. Her contract was amended several times between 1933 and 1935, and she was loaned to Paramount for a pair of successful films in 1934. For four years, she was the top-grossing box-office star in America. Shirley's birth certificate was altered to prolong her babyhood; her birth year was advanced from 1928 to 1929. She was not told her real age until her "twelfth" (actually her thirteenth) birthday.

In 1940, Temple left Fox. Working steadily, she juggled classes at WestlakeSchool for Girls with films for various other studios, including MGM and Paramount. Her most successful pictures of the time included Since You Went Away with Claudette Colbert, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer with Cary Grant, and FortApache with John Wayne.

She retired from motion pictures in 1949.


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1.  Red Haired Alibi (1932) - Shirley Temple

2.  Stand Up and Cheer (1934) - Shirley Temple

3.  Baby Take a Bow (1934) - Shirley Temple

4.  Bright Eyes (1934) - Shirley Temple

5.  The Littlest Rebel (1935) - Shirley Temple

6.  Curly Top (1935) - Shirley Temple

7.  Our Little Girl  (1935) - Shirley Temple

8.  Stowaway (1936) - Shirley Temple

9.  Captain January (1936) - Shirley Temple

10. Heidi (1937) - Shirley Temple

11. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938) - Shirley Temple

12. Little Miss Broadway (1938) - Shirley Temple

13a. Little Princess, The (1939) – Shirley Temple:

13b. Another Location for -->The Little Princess (1939) - Shirley Temple

14. Susannah of the Mounties (1939) - Shirley Temple

15. The Blue Bird (1940) - Shirley Temple

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