Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 67

Shirley (Jane) Temple - Biography, Filmography, Trivia

screen career black achievement

Film actress and diplomatic official, born in Santa Monica, California, USA. Precociously talented, she was ‘discovered’ at a dancing school, and at age three-and-a-half was appearing in a series of short films. In 1934 she made nine films, leaping to stardom with Little Miss Marker, and winning a special Academy Award for her ‘outstanding contributions to screen entertainment’ that year. For the next six years she was not only one of the most popular and best paid of all film stars, she inspired a virtual cult of adulation and name-brand products. As she moved into her teens, her appeal and career faltered, and she effectively retired from the screen in 1950; attempts to revive her career on television in 1958 and in 1960 also failed. Married to business executive Charles Black, in 1950 as Shirley Temple Black, she unsuccessfully ran as a Republican for US representative and senator from California. She was later appointed a US representative to the United Nations (1969), ambassador to Ghana (1974–5), White House chief of protocol (1976–7), and ambassador to Czechoslovakia (1989–93). In January 2006 she received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.

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