I remember watching Shirley Temple in “The Little Princess” when I was young; I have to admit, it was not a bad movie. For many people, she is still the first person to come to mind when you think of child actors. So what ever happened to Shirley Temple?
Shirley Temple was a huge star in the 1930’s, especially after starring in 1934’s “Bright Eyes.” Besides being a cute kid, she was wholesome and kind. People loved that, and scrambled to buy licensed merchandise featuring her name and image. In the 1940’s she did some acting as a teen, but retired in 1950 at age 21. [Shirley Temple – Wikipedia. Downloaded October 20, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Temple.]
We all know about the rocky road that former child stars tend to follow. But Shirley Temple is a pleasant exception. She went on to succeed as a non-actor.
In 1967, Shirley Temple (her married name was Black), ran for U.S. Congress as a Republican. Time Magazine quoted her criticizing progressives of the time, saying: “It is not progress when some of our citizens participate in bloody riots and burn down whole sections of cities; when pornography becomes big business and when our children are exposed to it.” [Source: “Republicans: Mrs. Black for Congress – TIME,” http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,899754,00.html.] As a mother of three, she had become concerned with declining standards of decency in films and elsewhere.
Although she was not successful in her run for Congress, she did go on to succeed in politics. In 1974, she was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana. Then, in 1989, she was apointed U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. If you would like to read more about her post-Hollywood life, you might want to read her 1988 autobiography, entitled “Child Star.” [Shirley Temple – Wikipedia. Downloaded October 20, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Temple.]
“Republicans: Mrs. Black for Congress – TIME.” Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews – TIME.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2010. .
Shirley Temple – Wikipedia. Downloaded October 20, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Temple.