It is rare that you meet an overachiever. It is even more amazing that the person is under 10 years old in a world where there aren’t enough good role models for young people. We need to resurrect the 50 or so old movies belonging to Shirley Temple showing her immense talent as a very young girl. She was a perfect Annie before the musical was ever made. She was a leading lady who danced and sang and memorized enough lines that any leading lady could do in a movie. The only thing close to her age group is that ridiculous Honey Boo Boo child who can only fart regularly for laughs. What’s worse is that kids like Honey are shown on the TLC channel that stands for the Learning Channel where kids today can only learn how to behave badly.
Who else do we have? Lindsay Lohan was a talented kid who grew up to be the poster child for girls gone wild. Then there is Justin Beaver who was a cute boy who now can’t pose for a picture without druggie looking eyes. At least Shirley Temple after making so many movies as a child grow up to be a fine young woman. She got married, had children and then had a immense career representing America in various places around the world as America’s Ambassador. She even managed to live a long life till 85 years old. I might call her an over achiever but she didn’t over anything. She seems to have accomplished everything anyone could want in life.
So drag out her old movies and dust them off. Colorize them if you have to even make JZ rewrite the music like he did in the Gatsby movie. Most of all get her achievements off the old movie channels and put her somewhere anyone can find her. She is the child we all wish we were and the child we all wish we had. Most importantly she was the performer that was best at cheering us up. Shirley wasn’t only the biggest child actress of the 1930s, she was the biggest star of the time. No other person appeared in over 50 films by the time she was 10 years old.
She was cast as an orphan or other unfortunate child. She could move people with her tears and with laughs. She was a singer who made any song her own long before American Idol was around telling all their courageous singers to make songs their own. Shirley was a dancer who knew every step that any adult knew including dancing with the black tap dancer Bill Bo jangles Robinson. Not only did she tear up the dance floor, she helped in tearing down the color bias in Hollywood. Before this little girl had danced all over the stage, black and white people did not perform together in the movies.
Her smile and good cheer kept America’s spirits up through the worst of the depression. As long as we have Shirley Temple, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, we will be all right. As a teenager, her home box office appeal faded. She retired from films at the age of 22. She devoted her time to raising a family and married Charles Black. She then took his name professionally and called herself Shirley Black. Not too many women do that these days. After she raised her children, she enjoyed a new career as a diplomat.
First like Angelina Jolie she became a delegate to the United Nations and then as U.S. ambassador to Ghana. Then an ambassador to Czechoslovakia putting her past fame to good use. Weather as a child actress or diplomat, Shirley Temple always managed to open doors and hearts.