Shirley Temple was the biggest child star of all time, so bright that “Shirley Temple” remains a synonym for child star 80 years later. Kids who want to be sophisticated still drink Shirley Temples at parties. And any little kid who sings, dances and smiles immediately calls Shirley Temple to mind, the way screen sirens evoke images of Marilyn Monroe. She’s the prototype. At the age of 6 in 1934, as TCM host Robert Osborne says, Shirley Temple was “the most famous person in the world.”
Turner Classic Movies is re-running a Shirley Temple Marathon on July 6, celebrating a girl star who became the formidable woman, Shirley Temple Black — a US ambassador to two countries and corporate board member for numerous big companies. But it’s for her song and dance and her world-beating charm as a child that Temple is remembered. These films may be mostly in black and white, but Temple provides the color all on her own. Temple is the TCM Star of the Month for July. Here’s the schedule, which includes Bright Eyes, Little Miss Marker and Curly Top.