An Ode to Shirley Temple

She came,  She saw, She conquered. 

That’s the legacy that Shirley Temple had left behind for generations of actors in future. Shirley, who started her career in the world of Tinsel Town, at the age of three. In the year 1934, when she was around 5 years old, Shirley tasted her first glory of success in a film called ‘Bright Eyes’ where young Shirley played an important role of an orphaned godchild. Following this, she appeared in many important films which made her the Box-Office queen in the year between 1935-1938.
 
It wasn’t easy for young Shirley to make a mark in the world of tinsel town. She was hired by a studio for $50 a week, where the production’s strict management rules made the child actor confined to a box containing a large block of ice where she was punished to keep her “cool off”. The studio also suffered financial difficulties due to which her salary came down to mere $25. Perhaps, it is the struggle and the harsh reality of the life behind the studio which made her struggle with wisdom. 
 
 
Shirley’s magnanimous personality added with the wit that she possessed, earned her fans from almost all age groups. From kids who loved her funny acts, to young adult men who desired young Shirley when she worked in adult films. Her abashed sexuality, at times, when Hollywood was not so liberal in accepting female display of sexuality, made her an actress who dared to challenge the society with her art.
 
There are many interesting anecdotes and stories surrounding her career. From heart-ripping struggles of the actor to the glorifying days of success and fame, Shirley, when alive, had lived it all to miss it.  On the personal front, she had fifty five years of a successful relationship with Charles Black, with whom, she had three beautiful children.  She was also significantly involved in many social issues apart from raising her kids.
 
She was a recipient of several awards like: The Kennedy House Center Award, Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award & more. American Film Institute ranks her as the 18th greatest female American legends of all time.
 
No child star like her has ever won or will ever achieve the fame and popularity that she has achieved in this lifetime. Her sincere honesty, dedication to work and love for humanity has won her millions of fans around the globe.  For us, she will always be remembered as that bright-eyed, curly-haired little girl. Her significant presence in reel screen will forever remind us of an actress who dreamt to make it big in the big bad world of Hollywood at an early age of 3 years old.
 
By Sourav Chandgothia

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