Legends of the Silver Screen

Episode 3

Shirley Temple: Hollywood's Little Princess

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Shirley Temple: Hollywood's Little Princess
She was America's princess - an adorable little girl who, in film after film, captured the hearts of millions with her charm, talents, and optimism. Kings and Presidents sought to meet her, and she single-handedly saved a film studio from bankruptcy. But by the tender age of 12 her career was virtually over, leaving Shirley Temple to create a new private life - always in the public eye. Shirley Temple was born in 1928, and by the time she was four, dance lessons had helped land her roles in short films called "Baby Burlesques". Strongly encouraged by a mother who had yearned for her own theatrical career, Shirley was taken from studio to studio, eventually landing at Twentieth Century Fox. After a string of bit parts, she was noticed by the public in STAND UP & CHEER, but wasn't taken seriously by the Fox studio until her mother secretly auditioned her for the lead role in LITTLE MISS MARKER at Paramount. LITTLE MISS MARKER became a box-office sensation in 1933, and Fox finally realized what they had. From 1934 to 1938, Shirley made more than a dozen films at Fox, and quickly became the number one draw at the box-office. Depression-era audiences found Shirley to be an irresistible comfort and inspiration, and in return made each of her films more popular than the one before. In films like BRIGHT EYES, CURLY TOP, DIMPLES, and THE LITTLEST REBEL, Shirley sang, danced and thoroughly charmed audiences. Along the way she became an international sensation - receiveing thousands of fan letters a week, and being visited by royalty, celebrities and dignitaries from around the world. But as Shirley became older, her films became less popular, and at the age of 12 she was released from her contract with Fox. After living in the public eye for almost her entire life, Shirley focused her energy on her private life, where after a difficult four-year marriage to actor John Agar, she settled happily in the San Francisco Bay Area with her second husband and three children. In 19moreless

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