Shirley Temple: Child star for all ages
In an era when sweet, innocent young performers are as likely as not to end up in rehab or jail, sneering or twerking their way into the tabloid netherworld, it’s pleasant, even therapeutic, to remember dimpled, curly-haired Shirley Temple.
Temple, who died this week at 85, was arguably the most popular child film star of all time. Singing and dancing her way through the Great Depression, she was the iconic cute little child when cute still had an innocent ring to it and little girls on the silver screen might as well have been made of sugar and spice.
But then, she grew up. She left the film world for good in 1950, and she made a life for herself that took her farther even than The Good Ship Lollipop. Though she did some television in the ’50s and ’60s, she was ultimately drawn to politics, running unsuccessfully for Congress in 1967 and serving three presidents in diplomatic roles. She was also, as her family publicists noted in a statement Tuesday, our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and adored wife for 55 years to her husband, Charles Black, who died in 2005.
Would-be child stars take note: Shirley Temple did it right.