Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"The Good Ship Lollypop" Has Sailed For The Final Time

The greatest child star ever produced by Hollywood, Shirley Temple Black has died at age 85. The darling of the Depression years, she sang and danced her way to the top becoming the most popular movie star on the silver screen from 1935 to 1939. Clark Gable and other adult stars were but a distant second.

Shirley Temple did not make the transition to become an adult actress but her stardom continued for our generation because a number of her movies became a staple of programming on late 1950s and 60s TV. By the time we got to Vanderbilt in the late '60s and early '70s, Shirley Temple was not a movie star we talked about much. But you can bet all of us saw her movies as kids a lot. Just say the words "The Good Ship Lollipop" and back come the memories.......


Or how about her dancing on the screen with stars like Buddy Ebsen, George Murphy, Jack Haley, even Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Her dancing with a black man was still breaking down barriers even in our day....


Shirley Temple dolls are still prized collectables even today and she did not just fade awayin her later years, making a successful second career in public service as a diplomat at the United Nations, Chief of Protocol at the White House and as Ambassador to both Ghana and Czechoslovakia.

I am sure how my grandchildren would relate to her movies today. there so much electronics and animation in today's films and videos. And not all of Shirley Temple's movies are in color (many are black & white although available in full on YouTube).  Maybe I'll give it try and see, especially for my precocious grand daughter Libby. I have a sneaking suspicion, she'll like it.

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