Shirley Jane Temple

"Curly Top"


Question: How did Shirley skyrocket her career at such a young age?

Answer: Shirley Jane Temple, the young, talented, famous actress, and dancer, was born at exactly 9 o'clock in the evening at the Santa Monica hospital, on the 23rd of April in the year 1928. Three years later after she was born, she was already beginning her career as a dancer. Shirley's first dancing lessons took place at Mrs. Meglin’s Dance studio in Los Angeles. Shirley was only inspired to dance by her mother, Gertrude Amelia Krieger. Dancing became her passion; this is what led to her great success in becoming a famous Hollywood star. Jack Hays and Charles Lamont, producers from the Educational Films Corporation, were the first people to discover Temple’s talent. These two producers signed Shirley up for the series of short films, Baby Burlesks. The Baby Burlesks show was the first film Shirley ever starred in. This film skyrocketed her acting career. Shirley’s support came from her parents Gertrude and George Francis Temple. Besides her parents cheering her on, she had support from her two brothers Jack and George Temple. Her mom supported her in every take the directors made. She was the one who told her not to be afraid and to just “Sparkle.” Her supportive words worked. Two years later, Temple featured a role in the film, “Stand Up and Cheer”. Temple was a gifted young little actress. She starred in several more films after her second. These were major accomplishments for Temple when she was a child. She received the famous nickname “Curly Top” after she starred in the movie in the year 1935. People say, Shirley is considered the most successful childhood star in the history of filmmaking.


What were Shirley's downfalls?

Answer: Even though Temple was the all time favorite star when she was a little kid, her teenage years as an actress, weren’t very successful. She was an amazing actor, until her teenage years came. From 1939 to the year 1948, Shirley starred in six different movies. Her first teenage movie was in 1942, when she got the role in the movie, “Mrs. Annie Rooney” and in 1944 she played the parts in two new movies, “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “Since you Went Away.” Three years later she was in the movie, “The Bachelor and Bobbysoxer.” Then, “Fort Apache” became her last movie she starred in, until 1958. She made the decision to retire in 1949 to take a break. The unsuccessful movies might have led to her decision to step away from acting for a little bit. The fame came from her great acting skills and dancing skills.

Shirley_2.jpg images.jpg image_1.jpg

How was her love life? <3

Answer: Shirley was seventeen when she married her first husband, an American soldier Jack Agar. Shirley and Jack had their first daughter, Linda Susan. Their marriage wasn’t very successful. Jack was unable to take the stress of being known as “Mr. Shirley Temple.” Jack came to a drinking problem in their marriage that caused Shirley a need for a divorce. This wasn’t a happy highlight in Shirley’s life, but she was quickly redeemed after she found her real true love, Charles Black a former Naval Officer. They met each other on a vacation in Hawaii. Before they got married, Shirley was very cautious at the time of what kind of person she was marrying. She hired an FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, to check out Black’s background. Once Shirley felt he was the right one, they soon became husband and wife in the year 1950. Soon after, they had given birth to a baby boy and girl, Lori and Charlie Jr.


It was 8 years later, when Shirley decided to return to acting. She starred as a host and sometimes actress in the anthology series, “Shirley Temple’s Storybook”. Acting was great for Shirley. She starred in 14 short films and 43 feature films. And played the role in over 25 storybook movies. She was a success in acting. Her acting career began in 1931 and ended in 1961. Once acting was all over, Shirley took the place of being the ambassador of the United States, the U.S. Chief of protocol, the representative of United States, and the ambassador to Czechoslovakia.


Without the great support Shirley received from her family, she wouldn’t have gotten as far as she has. In my opinion, I don’t think she would have made it far, unless she had the potential. Shirley’s dancing and acting skills have shaped her personality in a big way. She is outgoing, talented, and loving.

Today, Shirley is happily living in Northern California where she writes her series of books titled, “Child Star”. When Shirley was a kid, fans, friends, and family always surrounded her. I learned that Shirley has a lot of potential to make 43 films and 25 storybooks.

Citation Sites:



  3. would answer these questions with honesty because of her personality.

Questions I would ask Shirley if I met her...

1. What's it like being so famous?

2. Did you really want to become an actress when you were little?

3. How has acting and dancing affected your life?

4. If you weren't an actor...What else would you wanna be?

What persuaded me to research Walt Disney?

shirley_temple_drink.jpgIn 5th grade I was given an assignment to complete a biography project and I found an interest in doing Shirley Temple. But I ended up choosing Walt Disney. Walt Disney had an interesting life and made amazing creations, but was eager to learn about Shirley. The many movies she made and watching her commercials for her tapes, captured my attention. I have always had an interest in the process it takes to be such a great succession in acting, like Shirley. My favorite thing about Shirley is her great tasting drink. Instead of using the ingredients bartenders do, I use Hawaiian punch and sprite. Shirley gave me so many questions that I had to answer. For instance, What's it like being famous?, What are your interests? If you weren't a successful actress, what would you rather do with your life? In my opinion this is a person definitely worth knowing. Her life is just as interesting as Walt Disney's. She contributes to the Holly wood fame and people say, "She's the world's famous child star. In history!". She has made incredible successful movies and has an interesting love life. She may not have made cartoons like Walt did, but she does have a drink after her. :)