“Shirley Temple Black was Justin Bieber with talent, taste, judgement and 0 inane tattoos. RIP.”—Writer Jeff Pearlman, on onetime child star—and adult Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia—Shirley Temple Black (1928-2014), Feb. 11, 2014 tweet
In the midst of one of America’s greatest crises, Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “As long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be all right. … When the spirit of the people is lower than at any other time during this Depression, it is a splendid thing that for just 15 cents, an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles.” As an adult, she would go on to serve four other Presidents.
Millions of Americans, both during her days as a child star and when she left acting, smiled at her pretty little head. Actually, the wonder, given the crazy, sometimes sick adults in her life (a studio boss exposed himself to her), is that she grew into a level-headed adult. Today's young stars--Mr. Bieber very much included--please take note.
(The photo accompanying this post shows Shirley Temple in the 1939 film, The Little Princess.)