There have been numerous child stars in Hollywood over the years, but none of them have really compared to Shirley Temple. She earned her first Academy Award at the age of 6 and through 1938 she was a major star – and continues to be, even though she retired from film in 1950 and didn’t have a hit after 1940 except with two wartime movies.
1. Some Tasty Soda
Many people are familiar with the cocktail that’s called a Shirley Temple. It’s made from a lemon-lime soda and grenadine and given a cherry. Two soda companies have attempted to create a commercial product from this combination that had the actresses’ name. She took both companies to court and won, despite the argument that the term “Shirley Temple” had become a generic household name.
2. She Turned Down a Classic
Shirley Temple was destined to be the lead character in the Wizard of Oz. In 1938, however, she was beginning to mature, the role eventually wasn’t given to her. According to Temple when she wrote her biography, the producer of the movie also exposed himself to her, which caused her to decide to turn the role down.
3. The Trademark Curls
Temple had to go to bed every night with 56 curlers in her hair in order to achieve her trademark look as a child. It was something that she hated. She liked her hair shorter and straighter because it was easier to manage. She idolized Amelia Earhart as well and wanted to sport a similar style. The curls were her trademark, however, and Temple recognized the value in this look immediately.
4. A Political Giant
Many child stars go on to become adult stars or influence the world of entertainment in some way. Shirley Temple went on to become a US Ambassador. She also ran for Congress in 1967, but lost by just 19,000 votes, potentially because of her views on the conflict in Vietnam. That’s not bad for a girl who once even had Santa Claus ask for her autograph.
Shirley Temple may have left Hollywood at a fairly early age, but she made an ongoing impact in the world that can still be felt to this day.