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Biographies Unit Biographies

Shirley Temple Black 1928-
Child Movie Star

During the Great Depression, people went to the movies to forget about their problems. The most popular movies were musicals. One of the biggest stars of these movie musicals was child actress Shirley Temple.

Temple was born in Santa Monica. She learned to sing and dance not long after she learned to walk and talk. Her career started when a Hollywood agent saw her in a dance class when she was three years old. Her first big hit was a movie called Stand Up and Cheer. She starred in it when she was only five years old. Temple made dozens of movies before she was twelve. She usually played a cheerful, determined child who overcomes difficulties to find happiness.

Temple stopped making movies when she grew up. She married a man named Charles Black. She went to work for the United States government. One of the jobs she did for the United States was to serve as a delegate to the United Nations. The United Nations is an organization that serves almost every country in the world. She also worked for the State Department, which is the part of government that deals with other countries. Today, Shirley Temple Black lives in Woodside, California.

Comprehension Check

What did Temple do after she stopped making movies?

Critical Thinking

Why do you think Shirley Temple Black's movies were popular during the Depression?