Shirley Temple

American actress (1928–2014)

Shirley Jane Temple (April 23, 1928February 10, 2014), later known as Shirley Temple Black, was a child actress who appeared in over 40 films from 1932; the majority being released before she reached adolescence. She became a diplomat and United States ambassador as an adult.

Shirley Temple in 1990


  • I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.
    • Quoted in The New Penguin Dictionary of Modern Quotations by Robert Andrews
  • Sunnybrook Farm is now a parking lot; the petticoats are in the garbage can, where they belong in the modern world; and I detest censorship.
    • Quoted in Funny Ladies: The Best Humor from America's Funniest Women by Bill Adler, p. 94
  • I think we all learn from the past. I just feel we shouldn't live there. We shouldn't live in the past. I live for today, and to me, the most important moment is now.
  • Some of you may recollect a little girl with clean and curled hair, starched skirts, ruffles, and bows. That perception was wrong. The reality was a kid in blue jeans and sentimental sneakers, dirty hands, dirty face, usually climbing a tree.



Quotes about Shirley Temple

  • Popular culture entered my life as Shirley Temple, who was exactly my age and wrote a letter in the newspapers telling how her mother fixed spinach for her, with lots of butter. There were paper-doll books of her and of the Dionne Quintuplets-five identical girls born to a French-Canadian family and of the famous dollhouse of the actress Colleen Moore, which contained every luxury conceivable in perfect miniature, including a tiny phonograph that played Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. I was impressed by Shirley Temple as a little girl my age who had power: she could write a piece for the newspapers and have it printed in her own handwriting. I must have seen her dancing with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in The Littlest Rebel, but I remember her less as a movie star than as a presence, like President Roosevelt, or Lindbergh, whose baby had been stolen; but she was a little girl whose face was everywhere on glass mugs and in coloring books as well as in the papers.
  • Watching clips of her, it's so amazing that she was such a part of our film history from the very beginning. I'm sure it wasn't easy being a child star, although she went on to become an ambassador, so she re-invented herself along the way. But it's a great loss. I wish all the best for her family and thank her for her contribution.
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  1. Scully, Mike (2008). Commentary for "Last Tap Dance in Springfield", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eleventh Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.