What happened to Shirley Temple after being an incredibly famous child actor? (1946)

Shirley Temple

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What happened to Shirley Temple after she grew up?

From 1935 to 1939, Shirley Temple was such a popular movie star, she even beat out the iconic Clark Gable for that recognition. But, as is often the case for child actors, growing up meant the roles dried up… as did her movie studio contract.

Even back in 1946 — much as we may do even today — people wondered: What happened to Shirley Temple when her movie star career waned?

At that time, as young newlywed, Temple made an effort to relaunch her career, as a post-war world watched to see if she could recapture that Hollywood magic once again.

What they — and she — couldn’t have known at that time was that her next major triumphs were to come off the silver screen.

In 1950, dissatisfied with being type-cast in work she considered low quality, she announced her retirement from acting and started pursuing interests in the political arena.

In the following decades, she would host a TV program, fundraise for the Republican Party, and even run for Congress in California. While she didn’t win that race, she did go on to serve in the Nixon, Ford and George H. W. Bush administrations in a diplomatic capacity.

Married twice (her second marriage lasted 55 years,until she was widowed), Shirley Temple had three children.

While she did not capture movie star fame again later in life, she remained famous and appreciated for her diplomatic and civic efforts. Shirley Temple lived a rich and dynamic life right up until her death in 2014 at 85 years old.

Ten years of Temple (1946)

Shirley has faced the problem of growing up

The little girl who led the movie-star popularity list during the first three of Life’s 10 years spent most of the decade worrying about growing up.

For Shirley Temple, maturity was a bugaboo — not the impatiently awaited for time for long dresses and grown-up parties, but a time when her charm and ability would lose their greatest asset: precocity.

By 1940, Shirley had lost her position as 20th Century-Fox’s greatest star and, with it, the $300,000 per annum she had earned while saving the company from bankruptcy.

With anxiety, her parents, producers and most of the nation watched Shirley mature. Each change was faithfully recorded by the camera. When, at 15, she began to look like a young lady, everyone was relieved to find her still pretty and charming, though a little plump. When she married last year, most Americans felt suddenly older.

Today, as she resumes her acting career, Shirley is back where she was 12 years ago — playing second leads. If she plays them as brilliantly as she did in the days of Stand Up and Cheer and Little Miss Marker, Miss Temple will be a star again.

Shirley Temple on Screenland magazine cover - 1930s

Shirley Temple 1934

Shirley Temple short films from 1934

Shirley Temple on the cover of Photoplay magazine - 1935

Shirley Temple on the cover of Photoplay magazine - 1937

The Blue Bird movie with Shirley Temple - 1940

What happened to Shirley Temple? High school graduation

What happened to Shirley Temple - Screen Guide magazine 1945

Modern Screen magazine - Shirley Temple cover 1946

Shirley Temple - Cover of Motion Picture magazine in 1946

Vintage postcard - Home of Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple on Screenland magazine cover - 1950

What happened to Shirley Temple: Holly wood relaunch

Shirley-Temple-on-Screenland-magazine-1950

 

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