Shirley Temple is a Dutch American with mixtures of other nationalities. She is a direct descendant of one of the early Dutch residents of New Netherland. Her great great grandfather was Alexander Temple [1750-1828] and his spouse was her great great grandmother Mariche Flansburgh [1766-1837].
Mariche’s great grandfather was Cornelius Viele [1676-?] who was married to Diewer van Petten. Cornelius Viele’s grandfather was Cornelis Volkerszen Viele [1584-?], and given his birthdate born in Holland.
Shirley Temple was born in Santa Monica, California on April 23, 1928. Her parents were George Francis Temple and Gertrude Amelia Krieger. She had two brothers George and John S. Her mother encouraged her to sing, dance and act and enrolled her in Meglin’s Dance School in Los Angeles, California when she was only three and a half years old.
Her dance school training paid off because she was selected after only six months to appear in a series of short films called BABY BURLESKS, followed by a series of longer films called FROLICS OF YOUTH. So Temple’s film career began at the rather young age of four. At about that time she also played a small role in a feature film entitled RED HAIRED ALIBI, produced by Tower Productions. In 1933 she appeared for various short parts in films produced by Universal, Paramount and Warner Brothers.
In 1934 Shirley Temple signed up with Fox Films. Her first breakthrough film was STAND UP AND CHEER!, when she was not quite five years old. Later in that year she was loaned to Paramount for the film LITTLE MISS MARKER, another success.
Apparently Shirley Temple was a natural actor. She acted as if it was play, and required little instruction to perform her acts. Even as a young child she was able to remember her lines, and she acted naturally, enjoying it as she was performing. According to her mother, she never needed encouragement, and obviously relished the praise that was given to her.
Shirley Temple continued to make films through the early 1930’s. Some of the titles of her films were CURLY TOP AND DIMPLE, THE LITTLE COLONEL and THE LITTLEST REBEL. During the mid to late 1930’s she had matured and the titles of her films began to change to CAPTAIN JANUARY, POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL, DIMPLES and STOWAWAY .
At the end of the 1930’s Temple had become a teener and the character of her films changed. Film releases during that period were REBECCA OF SUNNYBROOK FARM, LITTLE MISS BROADWAY, JUST AROUND THE CORNER, and A LITTLE PRINCESS. The last film was a critical and commercial success. Her last money-maker but lackluster film was SUSANNAH OF THE MOUNTIES.
In 1940, Temple starred in BLUE-BIRD and YOUNG PEOPLE. Both were lackluster films and her parents decided to take her out of acting and send her back to school where she could lead a normal life as a teen-age girl.
In subsequent years during the war Shirley Temple met a man seven years her senior. He was John Agar ]1921-2002], an army sergeant. The couple married in 1945 when she was only seventeen. Their first child, a daughter arrived in 1948. They named her Linda Susan Agar. The child’s arrival apparently did not strengthen the marriage because in 1949 the couple divorced.
Only a year later Shirley Temple met Charles H. Black, [1920-2005], and a year later the couple got married in Washington, DC. Several years later, in 1954 Shirley’s second daughter, Lori Alden Black arrived. Her second marriage proved to be a lasting one. The couple remained married for 54 years, and ended with Black’s death in 2005. During that marriage she also had a son named Charles Black, Jr.
In the late 1950’s Shirley Temple had an opportunity to begin a television career. She hosted and narrated number of television shows for NBC with a reasonable degree of success.
In the late 1960’s Shirley Temple became interested in politics and ran for a Republican seat in the U.S. House of Representatives as a delegate from California. Her attempt at entering the U.S. Congress was unsuccessful, and she did not try again.
Also during the 1960’s President Nixon nominated her to be a Representative for the United States in the United Nations General Assembly. She served in that capacity for only several months from September until December 1969.
In the early 1970’s President Gerald Ford appointed Shirley Temple to the ambassadorship for Ghana. She served from December 1974 until July 1976, when she was appointed to be Chief of Protocol for the United States from July 1976 until January 1977. In that position she was in charge of the arrangements for President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration.
In the 1980’s President George H. W. Bush appointed Shirley Temple to be the ambassador to Czechoslovakia. She served in that capacity from August 1989 until July 1992.
Shirley Temple received a number of awards for her acting and artistic performances. They included the Juvenile Academy Award, the National Board of Review Achievement Award, the Kennedy Center Honors, and the Screen Artists guild Lifetime Achievement Award.
At the time the biographical profile was prepared Shirley Temple was 84 years old.
Lineage Information of Shirley Temple, Dawn Roe, Historian from Port Byron, NY
Eckert, Charles, “Shirley Temple and the House of Rockefeller”, JUMP CUT: A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA, No.2, 1974, pp. 17-20.
Shirley Temple, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Temple
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