Shirley Temple (1928 - 2014)

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Shirley Temple
1928 - 2014
April 23, 1928
Santa Monica, California United States
February 10, 2014
Woodside, California United States
Other Names
Shirley Jane Black (Temple)
Shirley Temple was born on April 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, California. She died on February 10, 2014 in Woodside, California at 85 years old.
Updated: January 18, 2021
Born to Gertrude Temple (homemaker) and bank employee George Temple, Shirley was the youngest of 3 children. She had 2 older brothers , John and George Jr.

A classic stage mother, Gertrude encouraged Shirley to learn singing, dancing, and acting and in 1931, enrolled her in Meglin's Dance School in Los Angeles. This is when her Gertrude started styling Shirley's hair in ringlets.

Her first contract was in 1932 with Educational Pictures. They made "Baby Burlesks", featuring pre-schoolers as the actors. Some of Shirley's roles were in "She Done Him Wrong" (a parody of the Mae West film), "Kid 'n' Africa", and "The Runt Page" (kids' version of The Front Page). She was so popular that she was promoted to a 20 minute comedies series called "Frolics Of Youth". And then, she was loaned out to Universal Studios , Paramount, and Warner Bros for various parts.

Her first movie was Stand Up and Cheer! in 1934 - her contract was $150/wk , guaranteed for 2 weeks. (Remember, this was in the Depression!) Then she filmed "Baby, Take a Bow". This was followed by "Curly Top" "Dimples" "The Little Colonel" and "The Littlest Rebel. (and more)" Her films all incorporated traditional values: good over meanness and evil, wealth over poverty, marriage over divorce, a booming economy over a depressed one. FDR, the US President during her childhood years once said: "It is a splendid thing that for just fifteen cents, an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles."

Her biographer Anne Edwards put it this way:

"This was mid-Depression, and schemes proliferated for the care of the needy and the regeneration of the fallen. But they all required endless paperwork and demeaning, hours-long queues, at the end of which an exhausted, nettled social worker dealt with each person as a faceless number. Shirley offered a natural solution: to open one's heart."

After her booming childhood success, her teen year films were less influential. Two of her movies in 1940 were flops. She moved from 20th Century Fox to MGM to United Artists - none of these moves resulted in a successful return to films. Moving in 1944 to a collaboration with David O. Selznick, she had 6 hits in the next few years but none of them rivalled the successes in her childhood career.

A radio career (brief), merchandise endorsements (everything from dresses to Shirley Temple dolls to cigars with her face on the label), to persistent rumors (she was a 30 yr old midget, to adjustments to her teeth to make her look younger), to a tv career in the late 50s and early '60s followed.

After a short marriage to actor John Agar (1945 - 1950), Shirley married Charles Aiden Black in 1950 and took the name Shirley Temple Black. They had 3 children and they remained married until she died.

A new career began when she was appointed to represent the United States at a session of the United Nations General Assembly, From 1989 - 1992, she was US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, from 1974 - 1976, she was US Ambassador to Ghana and from 1976 - 1977 she was the Chief of Protocol of the United States.
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Shirley Temple
Most commonly known as
Shirley Temple
Full name
Shirley Jane (Temple) Black
Other names or aliases
Woodside, San Mateo County, California United States
Last known residence
Shirley Temple was born on in Santa Monica, California United States
Shirley Temple died on in Woodside, California United States
Shirley Temple was born on in Santa Monica, California United States
Shirley Temple died on in Woodside, California United States
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Cause of death
Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, CA County, United States
Burial / Funeral

Ethnicity & Lineage

Caucasian (Dutch, English, German)

Nationality & Locations



Actress, singer, dancer, diplomat

Personal Life

Celebrity, Famous, Actress

Average Age

Life Expectancy

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Shirley Temple


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Kathy Pinna
Kathy Pinna
29.1k+ favorites
Kathy Pinna commented
A personal note: As a child in the 1950s, I watched all of Shirley's old movies on tv and begged for a Shirley Temple doll (which I still have). She was a big celebrity in our household. More than 20 years after her first film. Even my son, a child of the 80s, knows Shirley Temple.

In the mid-1950s, my father, sister, and I went to look at 3 lots that my grandmother owned in Atherton. On the way home to Cupertino (yeah, I know that you'll have to look it up - but it's where Apple is today), Dad thought he'd give us a thrill and show us Shirley Temple's house in Woodside. We didn't believe that she lived there! After all, how could such a big star live fewer than 30 miles from our home! (Of course he was right. It was a lovely home, in which she lived until she died.) Shame on us.
Dec 14, 2020 · Reply

Share Shirley's obituary or write your own to preserve her legacy.

Shirley Temple passed away on February 10, 2014 in Woodside, California at age 85. She was buried in Alta Mesa Memorial Park, Palo Alto. She was born on April 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, California. We have no information about Shirley's family or relationships.

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Shirley's lifetime.

In 1928, in the year that Shirley Temple was born, aviatrix Amelia Earhart, age 31, became the first woman to fly solo across North America and back in August. In June, she had been part of a 3 man crew that flew the Atlantic Ocean but since she had no instrument training, she couldn't fly the plane - she kept the flight log. The North American flight became one of her many "firsts" as a female pilot.

In 1937, by the time she was merely 9 years old, on May 28th, the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge opened to cars. Taking 5 years to build, the 4,200-foot-long suspension bridge was an engineering marvel of its time - 11 men died during construction. The "international orange" color was chosen because it resisted rust and fading. To the present, it is the symbol of the City that is known throughout the world.

In 1949, Shirley was 21 years old when on January 25th, the first Emmy Awards (for television) were handed out in Los Angeles. Shirley Dinsdale won for the Most Outstanding Television Personality and Pantomime Quiz Time earned an Emmy for the Most Popular Television Program.

In 1956, when she was 28 years old, this was the year that the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, became an international sensation. He began the year as a regional favorite and ended the year with 17 recordings having been on the Billboard’s Top 100 singles chart, 11 TV appearances, and a movie. Elvis scandalized adults and thrilled teens.

In 1963, by the time she was 35 years old, the British Secretary of War, 46 year old John Profumo ,was forced to resign when he lied about an affair with 19 year old Christine Keeler. Keeler was also involved with the Soviet naval attaché and charges of espionage were feared. No proof of spying was ever found.

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Created on Jun 04, 2020 by Daniel Pinna
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