If you ever noticed how many women in their 70s are named Shirley, it’s because of the Hollywood child superstar Shirley Temple. She appeared in 29 movies in the 1930s and almost as many in the 1940s. Shirley Temple retired from Hollywood completely in 1950 when she was 22. But later in life she gained fame again.
After marrying Charles Alden Black in 1950, she became a prominent Republican fund-raiser. She was appointed a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly by President Richard M. Nixon in 1969. She went on to win wide respect as the United States ambassador to Ghana from 1974 to 1976, was President Gerald R. Ford’s chief of protocol in 1976 and 1977, and became President George H. W. Bush’s ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1989, serving there during the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe.
The clip above is from the 1935 film Curly Top. The actress was seven years old, but thought she was six because her mother shaved a year off her age to make her appear more precocious. Shirley Temple Black died Monday night at her home in California. She was 85.