The Shirley Temple Archive

"When I was 14, I was the oldest I ever was. I’ve been getting younger ever since."

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Miss Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple with her two children, Charles and Lori, in 1957.

Shirley Temple with her two children, Charles and Lori, in 1957.

Shirley Temple and husband, Charles Black, 1950s.

Shirley Temple and husband, Charles Black, 1950s.

Shirley Temple and Charles Black, 1950s.

Shirley Temple and Charles Black, 1950s.

Shirley Temple with her husband, Charles Black and children, (from right to left) Linda Susan, Lori and Charlie, 1955.

Shirley Temple with her husband, Charles Black and children, (from right to left) Linda Susan, Lori and Charlie, 1955.

Shirley Temple with her husband Charles Black and daughter, Linda Susan, after a visit to the White House, 1953.

Shirley Temple with her husband Charles Black and daughter, Linda Susan, after a visit to the White House, 1953.

Shirley Temple and Charles Black at the Bachelors’ Club Ball, 1950.

Shirley Temple and Charles Black at the Bachelors’ Club Ball, 1950.

Shirley Temple with her husband, Charles Black, 1954.

Shirley Temple with her husband, Charles Black, 1954.

Shirley Temple with her husband, Charles Black, 1952.

Shirley Temple with her husband, Charles Black, 1952.

Shirley Temple, with husband Charles Black and daughter Linda Susan, on White House grounds, 1953.

Shirley Temple, with husband Charles Black and daughter Linda Susan, on White House grounds, 1953.

Shirley Temple Black and her family in the 1960s/70s.

Shirley Temple Black and her family in the 1960s/70s.

A Very Brief History of Shirley Temple

1932 - An early appearance in short films entitled “Baby Burlesks” gave Shirley her first role as leading lady, though her parents never intended anything to come of it and the films themselves were what Temple would later describe as “a cynical exploitation of our childish innocence”.

1935 - After appearing briefly in Stand Up and Cheer (1934) and going on to star as a lead role in Bright Eyes (1934) Shirley Temple was soon recognized by the 20th Century Fox studio as having star quality. She then went on to make 4 films a year under contract, including The Little Colonel (1935) in which she danced with Bill Bojangles Robinson, making them the first inter-racial dancing couple in cinema history.

1935 - Shirley Temple’s fame was made official in 1935 when she was the only star that year to be invited to leave prints outside of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. She also won a miniature Academy Award for outstanding achievement in the motion picture industry. Her work at 20th Century Fox saved the company from bankruptcy.

1940’s - After her contract ended at 20th Century Fox due to both a decline in interest from the audience and producers, but mostly due to the fact her Mother intended to send her to school, allowing her to lead more of a regular teenage life with people her own age. At the same time Shirley signed a contract at MGM, where she would only make one film due to her enrollment at Westlake School for Girls.

1944 - Although she was now in full-time education Shirley found herself unable to completely escape from her Hollywood roots. Her sixteenth birthday was celebrated on the set of I’ll Be Seeing You with Joseph Cotten, Jennifer Jones, Spring Byington and Ginger Rogers in 1944. Shirley Temple went on to make movies until the age of 21, when she officially retired as a film actress.

1950’s - Shirley Temple married Charles Black in 1950, in the same year she filed for divorce from her first husband, John Agar. Shirley had one child with John Agar, Linda Susan, but the relationship had been turbulent and had ended after just 5 years. Her marriage to Charles Black was a solid one that lasted 54 years (until his death in 2005), and she went on to be a mother twice more with the birth of Charles Jr. and Lori Black. She would also change her professional name to Shirley Temple Black. She also hosted and narrated a successful television show during the late 1950s, entitled “Shirley Temple’s Storybook”.

1974 - After losing out on a position in the U.S House of Representatives in 1960’s and battling Breast Cancer in the early 70’s, Shirley’s career in politics did not come to an end. In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford appointed her as ambassador to the African nation of Ghana. This task meant to negotiate treaties with Ghana, represent America for Ghana, serve as the head of all missions. In 1976 she became the first female Chief of Protocol in U.S government history.

1988 - Shirley Temple Black is still alive and well today, aged 84 she is retired from both Hollywood and politics and living in California.

Shirley Temple Black with her husband, Charles Black and children Charles Jr. and Linda Susan in one of the cars of the Casey Jr. Circus Train ride in Fantasyland. March 10, 1956, Disneyland C.A.

Shirley Temple Black with her husband, Charles Black and children Charles Jr. and Linda Susan in one of the cars of the Casey Jr. Circus Train ride in Fantasyland. March 10, 1956, Disneyland C.A.

Shirley Temple Black and her husband, Charles Black, late 1940s.

Shirley Temple Black and her husband, Charles Black, late 1940s.

Shirley Temple Black (far right) with her daughter Linda Susan and husband Charles Black, 1963.

Shirley Temple Black (far right) with her daughter Linda Susan and husband Charles Black, 1963.

Shirley Temple Black and her husband Charles Black at the Emmy Awards, 1952.

Shirley Temple Black and her husband Charles Black at the Emmy Awards, 1952.