FDR said, “When the spirit of the people is lower than any other time, it is a splendid thing that for just 15 cents an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles.” Every once in a while a star comes along at the right time. In the midst of the Great Depression when so many were out of work and hopes were low, there was Shirley Temple. She was a morale booster and helped lift spirits.
Shirley Temple was the most famous child star ever. Before she could even read she was acting. With her famous ringlets and infectious smile she charmed audiences all over the world. Shirley Temple started her career at age three in ten minute one-reelers called Baby Burlesks.
From 1934-1938 she was the #1 box office star in Hollywood and she saved Fox studios from bankruptcy. In 1934 alone she was in eight films. She starred with such greats as Adolph Menjou, Alice Fay, Gary Cooper, Gary Grant and Claudett Colbert. She was paired with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson in three films.
Some of her films include: Little Miss Marker (1934), The Little Colonel (1935), Curly Top (1935), Poor Little Rich Girl (1936), Wee Willie Winkie (1937), Heide (1937), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938), The Little Princess ( 1939), The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (1947) and Fort Apache (1948).
At the height of her career she had her own personal bodyguard and a bungalow on the studio lot. The bungalow had its own garden and the furniture was built to scale. She had several writers assigned to develop movies just for her.
There was no shortage of Shirley Temple merchandise: Dolls, books, clothing, dishes, paper dolls and so much more.
Shirley Temple has received a Juvenile Academy Award, A Kennedy Center Honor and a SAG Lifetime Achievement Award. Her movies still continue to charm.