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Iconic Child Star Shirley Temple Dead at 85


Shirley Temple Black has died at her home in Woodside, California at the age of 85, the L.A. Times reports:

From 1935 through 1938, the curly-haired moppet billed as Shirley Temple was the top box-office draw in the nation. She saved what became 20th Century Fox studios from bankruptcy and made more than 40 movies before she turned 12.

Hollywood recognized the enchanting, dimpled scene-stealer’s importance to the industry with a “special award” – a miniature Oscar – at the Academy Awards for 1934, the year she sang and danced her way into America’s collective heart.

Her most famous moment, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I'd hate to have my name associated with an alcohol-free drink forever.

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Feb 11, 2014 8:01:55 AM

  2. I think as an adult she was homophobic and anti-gay. No hero of mine.

    Posted by: Wisebear | Feb 11, 2014 8:09:25 AM

  3. Yo @dumbbear, keep your effing delusions to yourself. A simple search of "shirley temple homophobe" yields absolutely zero indication that she was anti-gay. BTW, redundant much?

    Posted by: Quicksilver | Feb 11, 2014 8:33:23 AM

  4. RIP Shirley Temple!

    Posted by: kmickeyw | Feb 11, 2014 8:49:26 AM

  5. I have never heard Shirley Temple Black's name tied to gay rights, either for or against. She was a Republican, but that is no reason to assume she was anti-gay.

    PBS had an interesting show about her on American Masters. You can watch it on-line.

    Posted by: Charlie | Feb 11, 2014 8:59:50 AM

  6. A generation is now stuck w/ Honey Boo-Boo

    Posted by: brandoise | Feb 11, 2014 9:05:44 AM

  7. According to Michael Klarman's book "From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage" (Oxford Univ Press, 2012) Ms Temple Black, along with the likes of Jane Fonda and Norman Lear, "publicly expressed their support for gay rights" in the 1970s (page 25).

    Shirley and her mother sued Graham Greene for libel - and won. Can @wisebear provide substantiation for his claim - other than his own self-loathing and oversized persecution complex?

    Posted by: Alan | Feb 11, 2014 9:27:05 AM

  8. Whether or not she was for gay rights, she's dead now, and she certainly was a cultural icon. RIP.

    Posted by: Jack M | Feb 11, 2014 9:47:04 AM

  9. Truly an icon. RIP.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Feb 11, 2014 9:57:00 AM

  10. huh, i honestly thought she had died really young for some reason. what happened to her that she faded into obscurity so well?

    Posted by: luke | Feb 11, 2014 9:59:35 AM

  11. She was a great child star (I guess), but her adult career as a pawn for 70s and 80s republicans kind of grosses me out.

    Posted by: Doon | Feb 11, 2014 10:09:13 AM

  12. Perhaps @wisebear has confused the late Shirley Temple with Anita Bryant?

    Posted by: bopfan | Feb 11, 2014 10:18:16 AM

  13. Great talent, and a long life well-lived. Definitely will be the last tributee in the "In Memorium" montage at the Oscars.

    Posted by: Dback | Feb 11, 2014 10:20:13 AM

  14. Interesting little piece of gay trivia: The original Warm Sands Resort, located on a prominent corner in the cruisy Warm Sands Neighborhood of Palm Springs, was the vacation villa for the Temple Family. Little Shirley had her own special little cottage which you can still rent there.

    Although a little shabby and aged, it's actually my favorite resort in the area as the guys tend to be friendlier and more down to earth than the other male resorts.

    Posted by: manbot | Feb 11, 2014 10:25:13 AM

  15. Loved her as a little precocious girl. Hated her as a right-wing Republican grown-up. She adored Ronald Reagan and that alone was enough to despise her on a personal level.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Feb 11, 2014 10:27:01 AM

  16. A member of her family, someone she was very close to, is gay and very out. And she was quite supportive of this individual.

    Posted by: Perry | Feb 11, 2014 10:44:25 AM

  17. Do not confuse Shirley Temple for a homophobe. Quite the contrary. What she was: a member of that nearly extinct breed, the socially progressive Republican. She lived in Woodside (in the San Francisco Bay Area) and had a quiet and well-adjusted life---considering her child star status and subsequent diplomatic posts. Rest in peace.

    Posted by: Tom if SFBay | Feb 11, 2014 11:45:27 AM

  18. Wisebear, I've never heard of hear saying anything at all about gay issues of any kind. Do you have some actual proof?

    Posted by: Daniel | Feb 11, 2014 12:28:59 PM

  19. Luke -- There's a thing called Wikipedia now. Shirley Temple Black didn't exactly "fade into obscurity"; her second career was as a distinguished diplomat, serving as U.S. Chief of Protocol in between being U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and later Czechoslovakia.

    You should hope to be so obscure some day.

    Posted by: Buddy Cole | Feb 11, 2014 2:28:58 PM

  20. Actually, her adulthood was rather shameful as she became an ultra-conservative. It was a shame that she stopped being open-minded.....(or maybe she never was....)

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Feb 11, 2014 3:11:18 PM

  21. Shirley Temple supplied a smile and a heap of hope for a depression weary public by singing and tap dancing her way into our hearts. Its no wonder that for Valentines day a more grown up Shirley offered up hope in an another form in an ad for a Hope Chest. Her death so close to Valentines day makes this vintage ad particularly poignant

    Posted by: Sally Edelstein | Feb 11, 2014 3:20:12 PM

  22. Don't confuse her with Anita Bryant people!

    Posted by: Danny | Feb 11, 2014 3:40:10 PM

  23. Maybe Shirley is being confused with Anita Bryant when it comes to misremembering her position on gays

    Posted by: Mark Bertler | Feb 11, 2014 6:31:52 PM

  24. Since she was a politician, lived in the Bay area and witnessed the discrimination against and suffering of lgbt folks, e.g., legal discrimination, Prop 8, Briggs initiative, homophobia and AIDS, it is unfortunate that she said nothing. Shirley Temple was a friend and supporter of homophobic Ronald Reagan. Enough said.

    Posted by: Horace Griffin | Mar 3, 2014 12:47:19 AM

  25. Yes, I believe you are confusing Shirley Temple with Anita Bryant. Same thing happened when Annette Funicello died. A friend of mine went on and on about what a racist and homophobe Annette Funicello was. I was confused, because I had never heard that, and I'm a fan. It occurred to me, and I finally said to him, "Are you talking about Anita Bryant???" He said, "Oh yeah! That's who I was thinking of!" A lot of people are saying that Shirley Temple was a racist as well. I just watched her Larry King interview on YouTube regarding Bill Robinson, and she definitely was not.

    Posted by: TJ | Jan 30, 2015 4:22:31 AM

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