News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Community News Network

February 11, 2014

Iconic child star Shirley Temple Black dies at 85

Shirley Temple Black, the child actor who lifted America's spirits and Hollywood's profits during the Great Depression with tunes such as "On the Good Ship Lollipop," then left the spotlight at 21 for a life of political service and limited celebrity, has died. She was 85.

She died Monday at her Woodside, Calif., home, according to an e-mailed statement from Cheryl Kagan, a spokeswoman for the family.

Decades before the label "child star" became a portent of later-life dysfunction, Shirley Temple showed that talented toddlers could survive, even thrive. Dimpled, curly-haired and prodded by her mother, she sang and danced her way into movies beginning at age 4.

At 6, she won a miniature Academy Award. Her licensed dolls and clothing were big sellers. Restaurants nationwide served an alcohol-free drink named for her, usually consisting of ginger ale, grenadine and a cherry.

Temple's most memorable roles — in films including "Little Miss Marker" (1934), "Bright Eyes" (1934), "The Little Colonel" (1935) and "Wee Willie Winkie" (1937) — cast her as precocious and preternaturally optimistic, orphaned or laboring to win the affection of a parent or grandparent. Audiences flocked to her films as respite from economic gloom.

"During this Depression, when the spirit of the people is lower than at any other time, it is a splendid thing that for just 15 cents, an American can go to a movie, look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles," President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in 1935.

Temple's box-office appeal waned as she grew into adulthood, and she made her last movie in 1949. Her second marriage, to businessman Charles Black, lasted almost 55 years until his death in 2005. They raised two children, plus a daughter from Temple's brief first marriage.

As Shirley Temple Black, the onetime star became active in Republican Party politics in the 1960s and served in diplomatic posts under four presidents.

"I had an enchanted childhood, a magic childhood, with great memories," Black told reporters in 1978, when she turned 50. "But I don't want to live in the past, and I don't live in the past."

In her 1988 autobiography, "Child Star," Black described the perks and indignities of her early career. She said she wrote the book partly to counter a misconception that she had been forced into show business by an overly pushy mother.

She also revealed that her father, guided by his business partner, squandered much of the $3.2 million she had earned as a child, leaving her with just $44,000 by 1950.

She said she wasn't troubled by her lost fortune: "Perhaps years spent ignoring such matters had insulated me from disillusion."

Shirley Jane Temple was born on April 23, 1928, in Santa Monica, Calif., the third child and only daughter of George Temple and the former Gertrude Krieger.

Her father worked for an electric utility company and later managed a bank branch. Her mother had once aspired to be a ballerina but had received little encouragement from her own family. She was determined to make up for that with her own daughter, beginning with music and dance instruction.

It was at Ethel Meglin's Dance Studio that Shirley, at 3, tried out for a group of studio scouts. They signed her to appear in a series of comedy shorts, the "Baby Burlesks," designed to draw laughs by dressing up and deploying young children in famous film scenes.

The shorts were "a cynical exploitation of our childish innocence," Black recalled in her memoir, and for good measure "occasionally were racist or sexist." Child actors who misbehaved were forced to sit on a block of ice. She got $10 a day, plus $5 for her mom.

At 5, she was signed by Fox Film Corp. — later 20th- Century Fox — for "Stand Up and Cheer!" (1934) and shined in her song-and-dance number, "Baby, Take a Bow." Fox gave her a contract and altered her birth certificate to make her appear a year younger — about to turn 5, not 6.

For that breakthrough year, 1934, Black earned a flood of write-in votes as best actress, resulting in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' decision to give her a special mini-Oscar.

Fox loaned her to Paramount Pictures to play the lead in "Little Miss Marker," which made her a star. In the Damon Runyon tale, she played Marthy Jane, whose father leaves her with a bookie, a cabaret singer and their rough-edged friends as collateral for a bet he ends up losing.

Reviewing the movie for the New York Times, Mordaunt Hall wrote: "Tiny Shirley Temple is a joy to behold and her spontaneity and cheer in speaking her lines are nothing short of amazing."

Temple's pay tripled, and her family moved to a bigger house and hired a secretary to handle the 4,000 fan letters each week. Fox arranged for private schooling in the cottage it reserved for her family on studio grounds.

"Baby Take a Bow," her next movie for Fox, was followed by "Bright Eyes," which featured Temple, aloft in an airship, singing what would become her signature tune, "On the Good Ship Lollipop." Fox rewarded her with a six-year contract extension that paid her $1,000 a week, and her mother $250 a week.

She tap-danced up a staircase with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in "The Little Colonel" (1935), a pairing that would be resurrected in "The Littlest Rebel" (1935), "Just Around the Corner" (1938) and "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" (1938).

Two 1936 movies, "Dimples" and "Stowaway," continued Temple's golden run, each grossing $1 million in the U.S.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer tried without success to swing a deal to give Temple the starring role in "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) that ultimately went to Judy Garland.

In 1940, after two box-office duds — "The Blue Bird" and "Young People" — 20th-Century Fox jettisoned the star that had saved it from bankruptcy. Stepping into the real world, Temple started attending classes at Westlake School for Girls.

She was signed by David O. Selznick, producer of "Gone With the Wind" (1939), to a contract that gave her a chance at adult roles, in movies including "Since You Went Away" (1944) and "Kiss and Tell" (1945). Among her final films was "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer," (1947), with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy.

In 1945, at 17, Temple married John Agar, an Air Force sergeant and the brother of one of her classmates. He became an actor, and they appeared together in "Fort Apache" (1948) and "Adventure in Baltimore" (1949). They had a daughter, Susan, before Temple filed for divorce in 1949.

In 1950, after Temple had declined numerous film offers, MCA dropped her as a client.

"Stars drop agents, not vice versa," Temple told MCA President Lew Wasserman in a meeting, according to her memoir.

She said Wasserman replied, "You're through. Washed up."

Temple was already beginning the next phase of life. On vacation in Hawaii months earlier, she had met Charles Black, a wealthy California native who ran a pineapple business and was unfamiliar with her films or fame.

"It was very refreshing to me — a handsome guy who wasn't interested in Hollywood or anything about it," she said.

They married in December 1950, and she became Shirley Temple Black. They had a son, Charles Jr., and a daughter, Lori. Black made a brief comeback on television with "Shirley Temple's Storybook" from 1958 to 1961.

In 1967, she ran as a Republican candidate in a special election for Congress in her California district. She finished second in a field of 11.

In 1969, President Richard Nixon appointed her U.S. delegate to the United Nations. President Gerald Ford in 1974 named her U.S. ambassador to Ghana and, later, the first woman to be U.S. chief of protocol at the State Department. Under Ronald Reagan — her co-star in "That Hagen Girl" (1947) — she ran seminars for diplomats. In 1989, President George H.W. Bush named her U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia, where she witnessed the country's transition to democracy.

Black was a longtime advocate of research and treatment for multiple sclerosis, which afflicted her older brother, George. He died in 1996. Her oldest brother, Jack, died in 1985.

After breast cancer and a mastectomy in 1972, Black held a news conference in her hospital room to encourage women not to "sit home and be afraid" if they discover a lump.

In 1985, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Black a full-size Oscar to complement the miniature one she received at 6. The Screen Actors Guild honored her "most remarkable life" with a lifetime achievement award in 2006. Black's survivors include her children Susan Falaschi, Charlie Black Jr., Lori Black, a granddaughter and two great-granddaughters.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Police Brutality screen shot. Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • Has the ipad lost its swag?

    July 24, 2014

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 22, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

  • Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds

    A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • A quarter of the world's most educated people live in the 100 largest cities

    College graduates are increasingly sorting themselves into high-cost, high-amenity cities such as Washington, New York, Boston and San Francisco, a phenomenon that threatens to segregate us across the country by education.

    July 18, 2014

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Raw: NH Man Held on $1M in Teen's Kidnapping House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH)
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity