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Farewell to Shirley Temple

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Shirley Temple Black has passed away at her home in California at the age of 85.

She was America’s little precocious cutie and helped a nation struggling with the Great Depression have hope and cheer.


A talented singer, dancer and actress, Shirley Temple was America’s top box-office draw from 1935 — the year she turned 7 — until 1938. She was credited with helping save 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy with films such as “Curly Top” and “The Littlest Rebel.”

She was a child prodigy who impressed even her much older and talented co-stars.


The little girl with 56 perfect blonde ringlets and an air of relentless determination was so precocious that the usually unflappable Adolphe Menjou, her co-star in her first big hit, “Little Miss Marker,” described her as “an Ethel Barrymore at 6” and said she was “making a stooge out of me.”

Of course, she grew up to become a woman who continued to make a mark on the world by entering the political world.

After marrying Charles Alden Black in 1950, she became a prominent Republican fund-raiser and was appointed a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly by President Richard M. Nixon in 1969.

She went on to win wide respect as the United States ambassador to Ghana from 1974 to 1976 and was President Gerald R. Ford’s chief of protocol in 1976 and 1977.

She then became President George H. W. Bush’s ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1989, serving there during the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe.

I’ve always loved her early films and now I feel an urge to go have a Shirley Temple movie marathon.

Thanks for all the joy and delight you brought us, Shirley!

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