Shirley Temple

American actress and diplomat (1928 - 2014)

Shirley Temple, or Shirley Temple Black (April 23, 1928 – February 10, 2014) was an American actress, diplomat and television series hostess. Temple has the distinction of being the first Academy Juvenile Award recipient in 1934.

Shirley Temple
Temple in 1948
Born(1928-04-23)April 23, 1928
DiedFebruary 10, 2014(2014-02-10) (aged 85)
Cause of deathChronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Resting placeAlta Mesa Memorial Park, Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Other namesShirley Temple Black
  • Actress
  • singer
  • dancer
  • businesswoman
  • diplomat
Years active1932–65 (as actress)
1967–92 (as public servant)
(m. 1945; div. 1950)

(m. 1950; died 2005)
Children3, including Lori Black
27th United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia
In office
August 23, 1989 – July 12, 1992
PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded byJulian Niemczyk
Succeeded byAdrian A. Basora
18th Chief of Protocol of the United States
In office
July 1, 1976 – January 21, 1977
PresidentGerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Preceded byHenry E. Catto Jr.
Succeeded byEvan Dobelle
9th United States Ambassador to Ghana
In office
December 6, 1974 – July 13, 1976
PresidentGerald Ford
Preceded byFred L. Hadsel
Succeeded byRobert P. Smith
Personal details
Political partyRepublican

Acting career




Temple began her movie career at age 3 in a series of Poverty Row shorts starring very young children clad in diapers. In 1934, she soared to superstardom in Bright Eyes. Other movies followed that exploited her waiflike charm and abundant talent such as Curly Top, The Little Colonel, Dimples, Wee Willie Winkie, and The Little Princess.

The public adored the child Temple, but her popularity declined as she grew into a young woman. She made several bombs in her teens, but three have become highly regarded classics: Since You Went Away, Fort Apache with Henry Fonda and John Wayne, and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. Temple married John Agar in 1945. In 1950 she married Charles Black and retired from the movie industry at age 22.



Marriage and motherhood occupied Temple in the following years, but she returned to show biz in the late 1950s with the television series, Shirley Temple's Storybook for NBC. The series was child/family-oriented with dramatizations of fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast, children's stories like Pippi Longstocking, and more mature fare like The House of Seven Gables and Victor Herbert's Broadway musical, Babes in Toyland. Celebrity stars like Charlton Heston, Tor Johnson, Sterling Holloway, Elsa Lanchester, and Agnes Moorehead appeared in the series. The series was nominated for an Emmy Award in children's programming. It faced stiff competition from other networks, and left the air after two seasons.



Temple became active in the Republican Party in California. In 1967, she unsuccessfully ran for the United States House of Representatives, losing the Republican nomination to Pete McCloskey. Temple was extensively involved with the Commonwealth Club of California, a public-affairs forum in San Francisco. She spoke at several of the meetings through the years and served as its president in 1984.[1][2]

Temple was appointed Representative to the 24th United Nations General Assembly by President Richard M. Nixon (September – December 1969),[3][4] and was appointed United States Ambassador to Ghana (December 6, 1974 – July 13, 1976) by President Gerald R. Ford.[5] She was appointed first female Chief of Protocol of the United States (July 1, 1976 – January 21, 1977), and was in charge of arrangements for President Jimmy Carter's inauguration and inaugural ball.[5][6] She served as the United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia (August 23, 1989 – July 12, 1992), having been appointed by President George H. W. Bush.[7]

Illness and death


Temple had breast cancer in the early 1970s and had a mastectomy. She died on February 10, 2014 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at her Woodside, California home, at the age of 85.[8]

Other websites



  1. "Hoover Institution Commonwealth Club Database". Archived from the original on 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
  2. "In Memoriam: Shirley Temple Black - Commonwealth Club".
  3. Edwards 356
  4. Windeler 85
  5. 5.0 5.1 Edwards 357
  6. Windeler 105
  7. Thomas, Andy; Scheftel, Jeff 1996. Shirley Temple: the biggest little star: biography. A&E Television Networks. ISBN 0-7670-8495-0
  8. "Hollywood star Shirley Temple dies". BBC News. 11 February 2014.