Friday, February 27, 2009

On This Day In History: Shirley Temple receives $50,000 a film

Shirley Temple receives a new contract from 20th Century Fox that will pay the seven-year-old star $50,000 a film.

Temple was born in 1928 in Santa Monica and started appearing in a series of short films spoofing current movies, called Baby Burlesks, at age four. At age six, she attracted attention with her song-and-dance number "Baby Take a Bow" in the 1934 movie Stand Up and Cheer, for which she received a special Academy Award for her contribution to film.

By 1938, Temple was the No. 1 box office draw and is still considered one of the most successful child stars in the history of the movies. The public loved her, and she routinely upstaged her adult counterparts on the big screen. Her famous blond ringlets appeared in more than 40 films, including Poor Little Rich Girl, Wee Willie Winkie, Heidi, and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and her talents helped pull 20th Century Fox out of financial uncertainty during the Depression.

Her appeal faded and her career began to peter out in her teenage years, however. She retired from movie acting in 1949, though she did narrate the television series Shirley Temple's Storybook from 1957 to 1959. She married naval officer Charles Black in 1950, changing her name to Shirley Temple Black. Some 20 years after retiring from Hollywood, she launched a political career, running as the Republican candidate for a congressional seat in San Mateo, California, in 1967 and coming in second of 14 candidates. The following year, President Richard Nixon appointed her ambassador to the United Nations, and she worked for the State Department in the United States and overseas for more than two decades. She was the first woman to ever serve as chief of protocol, a post she held for 11 years under President Gerald R. Ford, and President George Bush named her ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1989; by the end of her term in 1993, it had become the Czech Republic.

Temple published her autobiography, Child Star, in 1988. She still serves on the Institute of International Studies. The former child star also became a spokeswoman for breast cancer awareness after she discovered a malignant lump in her breast in 1972 and underwent a simple mastectomy. She received a medal for lifetime achievement to the United States and the world from President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary.

1 comment:

Haley Lucas said...

Really Cool, huh? I love Shirley Temple! She is like, my idol! I loved this website. It minimized Shirley's life nicely. I wrote a paper and used this site! Thanks, H.L.