Shirley Temple Black
April 23, 1928
Santa Monica, California
Born with the name Shirley Jane Temple, the talented singer and tap dancer was perhaps the last child actress allowed to be a child. Shirley Temples first work as an actress was done at age three for a movie studio called Baby Burlesks, which produced works that parodied popular films by using children to play roles made famous by adults. In 1934, she got her big break when she transitioned from contract player to super star in Stand Up and Cheer for 20th Century Fox. The height of Shirley Temples career was from 1932 and 1936, as she starred in 35 films. She was voted the number one box office star in America in 1935. In 1949, she retired from acting, and after her brother George was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1952, she began her career in diplomacy. She became co-founder of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies. Shirley Temple was the star of more than 40 motion pictures, most of them produced in the 1930s, and 50 major television productions. She made 20 films by age six alone and yet her movies continue to charm audiences of new generations.
For a more in-depth look at the life of Shirley Temple-Black, click here.
Additional Learning Links
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts