Shirley Temple was very important to my mother, Dorothy, who grew up in the Depression, and so much so, she tried to remake me in Shirley’s image many nights until I was 5 or 6 because she would roll my hair in pin curls, and I would sleep with bobby pins affixed to my crown to ensure that I was adorable. I also remember performing “On The Good Ship Lollipop” after I had listened to my 45 of Temple’s most famous song, and being asked to perform it in front of adults. In Child Star, Temple’s autobiography, she recalled that she didn’t much care for performing on demand, claiming it was like being a “wind-up toy.” I certainly wasn’t in demand as much as Miss Temple, but I definitely felt the same way about requests for a song or a dance. Of Shirley’s earlier films, I enjoyed Wee Willie Winkie and The Little Princess the most.
An excerpt from an article about Shirley Temple Black written by Norma Welty:
“Many girls, like myself, who grew up extremely poor in the Dust Bowl during the 1930s Great Depression revered Shirley Temple. We knew about her through listening to the girls from the more well-off families whose parents took them to see the young actress’s movies. These more fortunate girls often brought pictures of Shirley Temple to school and talked profusely about her and her movies.”
“Ms. Temple Black ran for Congress when the majority of voters weren’t yet prepared to vote for a woman rather than a male opponentand was defeated. But she hadnt put all her eggs in one basket. Later, she was appointed to represent the United States in the United Nations, was the first woman appointed US Chief of Protocol and she later served as US Ambassador to Ghana and US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. She did it all without fanfare, and to name but a few, she may have paved the way for Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
Shirley Temple Black was an inspiration to all women because she moved on. She didn’t dwell on her past films, or her past accomplishments, but she moved on from a childhood screen career, an unsuccessful marriage, and a debilitating bout with cancer, and her film legacy still inspires people all over the world.
Shirley sings “Auld Lang Syne” to Victor McLaglen in Wee Willie Winkie: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pMr5oU3uDSs
For the entire article by Norma Welty from the website History and Women, I have provided the link: http://www.historyandwomen.com/2013/02/shirley-temple-black-depression-era.html