Shirley Temple’s mother tried to make her childhood as normal as possible. She asked the parents of Shirley’s friends to not let their children see her films so they wouldn’t treat her differently, and she withheld all of Shirley’s fan mail until she was much older.

5 Stories About Shirley Temple

Former child actress Shirley Temple has passed away at the age of 85. But thanks to DVDs (and Turner Classic Movies), she will remain a dimpled, curly-topped 5-year-old for generations to come. We hope you enjoy these stories about the life and career of Shirley Temple Black.

1. Pre-Natal Stage Mother

Gertrude Temple, Shirley’s mother, already had two sons by the time she was expecting Shirley. Gertrude was a frustrated dancer herself, having grown too tall as a teen to become the ballerina she longed to be. While pregnant with what she hoped would be a daughter, Gertrude played music constantly on the phonograph and radio in an attempt to bless her child with an artistic bent. Shirley was walking by age 13 months, and at age two sh… Continue Reading (4 minute read)

15 thoughts on “Shirley Temple’s mother tried to make her childhood as normal as possible. She asked the parents of Shirley’s friends to not let their children see her films so they wouldn’t treat her differently, and she withheld all of Shirley’s fan mail until she was much older.”

  1. MisterBadIdea2

    Not only was she was a child star who couldn’t transition into an adult career, but while she was acting, she was one of the most famous people alive. Like ten times bigger than Taylor Swift is now. The fact that she didn’t become a prototypical former-child-star walking disaster is really just miraculous

  2. misterintj

    Sounds like her mom did a good job. She said in an interview with Letterman that her dad and his business partner did a terrible job with the money she earned. She got like $40k of the millions she’d earned as a kid.

  3. Swedish-Butt-Whistle

    Despite this effort she was still victimized within Hollywood. I remember reading her disturbing account of an adult producer exposing himself to her when she was VERY young.

  4. jcd1974

    She’s one of the few movie stars of that era whose on screen charisma has not diminished. She would have been a star in any era.

  5. RoseThorn82

    When I was in elementary school Shirley Temple came to my city to do a book signing, my grandma let me skip school to go with her…I met Shirley Temple !!! She was so nice and so sweet !!!

  6. bolony21

    Is that the girl from the 200,000 ads ive seen about her in Cartoon Network as a kid

  7. Johnnadawearsglasses

    Meanwhile my wife wiped my 8 year old’s butt yesterday. Not because he couldn’t do it. He just didn’t want to.

  8. tehnemox

    It’s a nice gesture in the end. Couldn’t be done in the age of internet and social media though

  9. superanth

    That explains why she didn’t crash-and-burn like so many other child stars. Ron Howard’s parents kept his life as normal as possible after he became famous on the Andy Griffith Show, living in an regular home and having him play with normal kids.

  10. Rawscent

    This explains something I always wondered about. As a little girl, my mom played with her a couple of times and then she saw one of her movies. She never played with her again. Now I know why. Thanks.

  11. jorph

    And don’t call me Shirley!

  12. americasweetheart

    Shirley Temple’s childhood was nothing near normal. Also, by most accounts she didn’t have neighborhood friends. She had friends that she made at the studio but in her private time she mainly played alone with her dolls. She was way into dolls.

  13. briarrosepatch

    I absolutely hate to be that guy, but she definitely didn’t make her childhood normal. When Shirley told her mom that a producer she was auditioning for exposed himself to her, her mom replied telling her to ignore it, and said something to the effect of “you think that’s bad, you should see what he made me do.”

Leave a Comment