Curly Top (1935)
This utterly beguiling and idiosyncratic cine-essay by critic and film-maker Mark Cousins is a personal journey through the subject of children on film. It was first shown at last year's Cannes film festival and is now on release here: a brilliant mosaic of clips, images and moments chosen with masterly flair, and accompanied by Cousins' own gentle, ruminative, almost murmured voiceover. Just as in his mighty television series, A Story of Film, Cousins dances nimbly between films old and new, cleverly intuits the connections, and digresses into the history of art, as well as into that of his own family.
A Story of Children and Film could be read as simply the story of Cousins himself, through film, and his own refusal to reproduce the cynical/knowing tone of modern grownup criticism.
According to Fox News, Temple, who had won a special Oscar at age 6 for her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment, died at her house near San Francisco.
Temple was the ultimate child star thanks to her dimpled, precocious and oh-so-adorable on-screen persona.
While talking about Temple, Allan Dwan, who directed her in 1937's 'Heidi' and 'Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm', said that she was absolutely marvelous and greatest in the world and was one of those actors who could remember.
• Shirley Temple obituary
• Shirley Temple: a career in clips
In the grim years of the Depression and the poverty-stricken 1930s, America took to its heart a lovable, curly-haired little girl who looked every bit as vulnerable as they felt, but who with the help of her pals and tender good-hearted grownups would put her best foot forward and surely win through in the end. This was Shirley Temple, who in that decade became one of the biggest stars in the world — her career and attractions shrewdly nurtured by the formidable 20th Century Fox studio chief Darryl F Zanuck, for whom Temple became a singing-and-dancing, ringleted cash calf.
She also achieved fame as a striking, almost unique example of how a child star graduates gracefully from the juvenile-lead status
Whoopi Goldberg and Mia Farrow were among the Hollywood stars who paid tribute to the former child star Shirley Temple, who has died aged 85.
On Tuesday Farrow said Temple, still held as one of the most famous child stars of all time, "raised the spirits of a nation during the Great Depression", while Goldberg identified her as "one of a kind".
George Clooney expressed appreciation for Temple's huge contribution to film history "from the very beginning". He added: "I'm sure it wasn't easy being a child star, although she went on to become an ambassador, so she reinvented herself along the way … it's a great loss."
Temple began her singular career aged three, finding early success with films including Curly Top, Heidi and Bright Eyes, which featured one of Temple's best known performances,
• Shirley Temple obituary
• Philip French on Shirley Temple
• Shirley Temple: a career in clips
Whoopi Goldberg, James Franco and Mia Farrow have paid tribute to the actor, singer, dancer and politician Shirley Temple, who has died aged 85.
Farrow credited Temple, still held as the most famous child stars of all time, for "rais[ing] the spirits of a nation during the Great Depression", while Goldberg identified her as "one of a kind". Temple began her singular career aged three, finding early success with chirpy hits such as Curly Top, Heidi and Bright Eyes. That film featured one of Temple's best known performances, a rendition of Richard A Whiting and Sidney Clare's On the Good Ship Lollipop.
Temple left the film business in 1950. She returned for a brief stint in television,
Some of the late “Curly Top” actress’ admirers took to Twitter this morning to share their feelings over the tragic loss.
“Newsroom” babe Olivia Munn tweeted, “Rest in peace Shirley Temple. The world is so much brighter because you were in it...” while Bethenny Frankel shared, “Rip Shirley Temple Black. Thank you for the smiles, laughs, and happy memories.”
Always quick with a timely word, James Franco wrote, “We love you, Shirley temple. Love to all the child stars, grown before their times,” and Emmy Rossum noted, “My first acting inspiration. Shirley Temple. Rest in peace.”
Tinseltown fixture Joan Rivers penned, “Rest in peace, Shirley Temple Black. I know that you're sailing up and away on the Good Ship Lollipop,” and close pal Melissa Joan Hart stated,
From the age of six to ten Shirley Temple was once one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. While the rest of the nation was mired in the Great Depression Shirley Temple sang and danced her way through it in films such as Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Little Miss Marker, Heidi and The Little Princess.
Shirley Temple was born on April 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, California, the third and youngest child (and only girl) of George Francis Temple, a bank teller, and Gertrude Krieger, a supremely willful stage mother (Temple dedicated her autobiography to her). Her parents noticed an innate sense of rhythm and extroverted presence as early as eight months in Shirley. She was put in acting classes by the age of three and was starring in a series of cloying shorts in 1932 and ’33, as well as assaying bit parts in larger films.
It was her performance of “Baby Takes a Bow” in 1934’s Stand Up and Cheer, a film that debuted in May, that thrust her into prominence. She was obviously a natural in front of the camera with a wide range of talent. She could sing. She could dance. She could act. Fox signed her on and, by the end of the same year, which also held the hits Little Miss Marker and Bright Eyes (where she famously sang “On the Good Ship Lollipop”) and several other roles, Shirley Temple was a star. A mere nine months after Stand Up and Cheer hit screens, in February of 1935, she received a special “Juvenile Award” at the Oscars “in grateful recognition of her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment during the year 1934.”
For the next few years the public couldn’t get enough of her. Exhibitors named her the top box-office attraction of 1935 (when she sang “Animal Crackers” in Curly Top) - 1938. A non-alcoholic drink was named after her (a mixture of ginger ale and grenadine) and a cottage industry sprang up around her likeness including dolls, coloring books, and dress lines. She tapped alongside Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, in The Littlest Rebel, starred in John Ford’s Wee Willie Winkie and several Allan Dwan films, Heidi and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. (Graham Greene’s review of Winkie, where he accused Temple of being an adult impersonating a child, and where he impugned the motives for older men’s attraction to her, caused such an uproar that Night and Day, the magazine in which the review was published, shortly thereafter was bankrupted and folded.)
Temple was the natural pick to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz but Fox wouldn’t loan its star out so Judy Garland got the role. It was a turning point in both their careers.
As she matured, Hollywood and the audience, now veterans of World War II, and seemingly unable to reconcile the fact that the cherubic star had become a comely young woman, looked elsewhere. Temple was no longer the compliant child but a willful ingénue. After two flops she canceled her contract with Fox and moved over to MGM but fared no better there.
At 17 she wed fellow actor John Agar but the marriage fell apart five years later. Temple, now divorced with a child, lost her interest in movie-making. The audience too moved on. She became a cautionary tale in many circles, an example of the loose morals and bad ends destined for Hollywood types. Her talent agency, MCA, unceremoniously dropped her and Temple’s meteoric career was over. She wasn’t yet 21.
Later life included several quickly-canceled variety shows but she attained a second act as a public figure and politician, even running for office in the vacant Republican seat in her congressional district. In 1968 President Richard Nixon appointed her as the US representative at the United Nations and she became an ambassador to Ghana from 1974-1976. She later also held the post of US Chief of protocol and ambassador to Czechoslovakia (appointed by President George H.W. Bush).
Shortly after her divorce from Agar Shirley Temple met and married Charles Black, a TV executive. They were married for 55 years, until his death, and had two children together.
Back in 1999, the “Curly Top” actress explained how she was able to go from happy to tears in a matter of moments.
Temple shared, "I guess I was an early method actress. I would go to a quiet part of the sound stage with my mother. I wouldn't think of anything sad, I would just make my mind a blank. In a minute I could cry. I didn't like to cry after lunch, because I was too content."
Furthermore, Shirley confessed she took advantage of her talent after getting pulled over near Malibu in a new red convertible when she was 21 years old. “[I told myself] ‘You’re an actress. Cry!’” Apparently it worked!
"She was surrounded by family members and caregivers. We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and adored wife for fifty-five years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black."
Born in Santa Monica, California in 1928, Shirley Temple made her film debut at just three years of age in a series of short films entitled Baby Burlesks, which featured child actors starring in parodies of feature films, including War Babies and Polly Tix in Washington. Her breakout role was in the 1934 feature Stand Up and Cheer!, where her singing, dancing and acting skills were first prominently put on display.
She is best known as a child start of the ’30s in movies like Curly Top and Bright Eyes. She began performing at age 3 if you can believe it, one of the very first child stars, she was the number one box-office draw in America and Britain from 1935-1938.
Read more about her illustrious career below:
I watched a made-for-tv movie about her a few years ago, it was dreadful and I knew it. I didn’t know a lot about her life so I took that movie as encouragement to get a better look at Temple’s career.
Shirley Jane Temple was born on April 23, 1928 and enjoyed three years before jumping into show business. The film Bright Eyes (1934) catapulted her to worldwide fame, ultimately resulting in the young actress winning a special Juvenile Academy Award in 1935 for her overall body of work in ’34. Throughout the mid-to-late thirties (a.k.a. The Great Depression) Temple reigned as America’s sweetheart in films like Curly Top, Wee Willie Winkie, Poor Little ...
Click to continue reading Shirley Temple Dead at 85: Remembering America’s Sweetheart
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From 1934 to 1938, when she was at the height of her fame, Shirley Temple (later known as Shirley Temple Black), who has died aged 85, appeared in films as a bright-eyed, curly-topped, dimpled cherub, whose chirpy singing and toddler's tap dancing were perfect antidotes to the depression. "During this depression, when the spirit of the people is lower than at any other time, it is a splendid thing that, for just 15 cents, an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles," Franklin D Roosevelt stated in 1935, referring to the world's biggest and littlest star.
Temple's message was "be optimistic", the title of the song she sang in Little Miss Broadway (1938). Her biggest hit songs were On the Good Ship Lollipop, from Bright Eyes (1934), which describes a
The “Curly Top” starlet was 85 years old when she died of natural causes on Monday night (February 10) due to “natural causes.”
A family spokesperson told press that Shirley “peacefully passed away,” noting, "We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and adored wife of fifty-five years.”
Ms. Black retired from acting at age 21 after making beloved films like “Bright Eyes,” “The Little Colonel,” “Poor Little Rich Girl,” “Heidi” and “Stand Up and Cheer,” and she’ll always be known for her adorable ditty “On the Good Ship Lollipop.”
Following her departure from Tinseltown, Shirley became an ambassador to Czechoslovakia and Ghana. In 1974 she stated, "I have no trouble being taken seriously as a woman and a diplomat here.
Though she retired from acting at the age of 22, her career featured many memorable performances — usually complete with a song-and-dance routine. Watch some of her most famous scenes below. (Note: Some of these videos have been colorized.)
1.) Stand Up and Cheer! (1934)
2.) Bright Eyes (1934)
3.) Curly Top (1935)
4.) The Little Colonel (1935)
5.) Heidi (1937)
6.) The Little Princess (1939)
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