Just read the news in the Guardian. Such a unique talent in a small child:
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Posted 11 February 2014 - 03:49 AM
Not to mention her later career as a diplomat/ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, I believe. RIP.
This would be my favorite of her movies. Quite an actress, age 10, and more than held her own among a lot of very distinguished actors.
Posted 11 February 2014 - 04:46 AM
Along with her many talents, I've always admired her courage in the 1930s for her insistence on dancing with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in a couple of her films and holding his hand! Think of it -- in the worst of Jim Crow America, a little white girl holding hands with a big tall black man. I understand from various biographies that she insisted on it and that many theaters in the old south refused to show the films. Thank you, Shirley, for helping nudge the long struggle for civil rights forward in your own way.
The NY Times Obituary reports that she danced with Bojangles in four films:
But her most successful partnership was with the legendary African-American entertainer Bill (Bojangles) Robinson. She may have been the first white actress allowed to hold hands affectionately with a black man on screen, and her staircase dance with Mr. Robinson in “The Little Colonel,” the first of four movies they made together, retains its magic almost 80 years later.
Edited by California, 11 February 2014 - 05:54 AM.
Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:15 AM
A friend of mine was a stage manager for the Limon Company, and met Temple when they were touring through Europe. Temple arranged for a party at the embassy for the company, and was an excellent hostess, telling stories about her dancing life and doing a small soft shoe.
Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:30 AM
She was truly one of a kind, unforgettable, a trailblazer, and as "California" mentioned she set a precedent for
civil rights in the U.S. Shirley Temple Black will be sorely missed. May "The Little Princess" rest in eternal peace.
Posted 12 February 2014 - 01:03 AM
So sorry to hear that she has died. Never one of my favorite child stars but she was a pretty cool kid, although one can only be grateful that her home studio, Fox, would not loan her out for The Wizard of Oz. Unlike so many child performers she had a happy and successful second act outside show business. Temple's vehicles were generally simple and straightforward, geared to the rural audience that was the heart of Shirley's fan base. Graham Greene once got in very hot water for pointing out other aspects of her appeal:
Her admirers—middle-aged men and clergymen—respond to her dubious coquetry, to the sight of her well-shaped and desirable little body, packed with enormous vitality, only because the safety curtain of story and dialogue drops between their intelligence and their desire.
Temple and 20th Century-Fox sued against this vile foreign slur on Shirley's wholesomeness, resulting in the closure of the small magazine for which Greene wrote the piece - they had no way of paying the damages - and causing Greene to contemplate getting out of the country for a while. Of course, if they'd ignored the article it would have fallen into obscurity save for those curious about Greene's non-fiction. As it is, the Times and other publications mention it in her obits and the fracas makes it into all the bios. Greene would be amused, although certainly he was wearing no smiles at the time.
Posted 12 February 2014 - 12:26 PM
As a politician Shirley Temple Black was considered much less charismatic – the word of that day – than Ronald Reagan, or “Ronnie” as many Californians, for and against, used to call him. She used awkward terms like "grubby” movies or “black and white race relations” and she unfortunately supported the escalation of the Viet Nam war just as her opponent in a congressional primary, the Republican and Korean war veteran, Pete McCloskey, was bravely questioning the legality of it. Much of that is forgotten and now her earlier reputation seems to have eclipsed her later one.
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