In the dark days of The Great Depression Shirley Temple wasn’t an just entertainer, she was a ray of hope. For a few cents people could sit and forget.
Watching her sing and dance made people smile. People were desperate for positive. They yearned for something optimistic in such bleak times. Are we finding that now, in movies, TV, music, social media, or is the negative overshadowing the positive?
Most of her films were fluff with cute song and dance. Not to say I didn’t enjoy them, Bright Eyes, Captain January, Curly Top, Heidi, The Little Colonel, Stowaway, etc. She had a few cinema moments, in Wee Willie Winkie, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Fort Apache, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, The Little Princess, etc. that make you think she might have become a great actress one day, if she had been allowed to grow up in the minds of her audience. Instead audiences became discontented as she grew, she was just another girl, not their little bundle of precocious hope.
I wonder what that felt like? To be so beloved by so many then to have them lose interest. Ms. Temple Black always appeared to handle everything with such grace. I suppose it’s difficult for anyone when people lose interest and move on to next thing, even for the average person.
It’s always challenging for child stars. Parents or guardians make the decision to place them in that world, expose them to everything and everyone then they have to struggle to go on to a another life or try to make the transition to acting as an adult.
Temple was also a money machine for studios, merchandising, etc. She made a lot of people very rich. Imagine what they would have done with her now? I shudder to think.
Shirley Temple, later Shirley Temple Black went on to be an entertainer, an ambassador, an activist, drawing attention to breast cancer and other causes, etc. But in the end, she will always be remembered as the little girl who lit up the lives of so many.
Sweet dreams, Shirley Temple.