2.11.2014

shirley temple black, breast cancer activist, former child star, 1928-2014

Shirley Temple and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
Growing up watching old movies, I was a big fan of Shirley Temple, whose dimples, singing, and tap-dancing charmed my parents' generation.

Temple danced with some of the tap greats, African-American men who Hollywood cast as servants, yassuh-ing their way into the dance scenes. The popularity of the adorable child star opened the back door for many talents.

When I was a young teen, Shirley Temple, then known as Shirley Temple Black, spoke out about undergoing a radical mastectomy. This was unheard of, and took enormous courage in a time when breast cancer was considered shameful - and fatal. She was a real trailblazer. She was also a United States
Ambassador to more than one country.

I was sorry to see that the wire-service obituary referred to Black as "Shirley Temple," and made no mention of her later accomplishments.

6 comments:

James Redekop said...

The wire service may have messed up, but every other mention I've seen of her today has used her full name, and at least mentioned her ambassadorships.

laura k said...

Well, that's good, except that most news outlets get their first story from AP. I saw it this morning at tons of places, including CBC, without her last name. They probably changed it later.

Kirby Evans said...

Unfortunately we can list among her "accomplishments" an unwavering support of Richard Nixon, the Vietman War, and Ronald Reagan.

James Redekop said...

Just came across this quote from her: "I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in the department store, and he asked for my autograph."

laura k said...

Ha! That's great.

As Kirby Evans points out, STB was a lifelong Republican, further proof that most people are mixed bags, neither all good nor all bad.

Amy said...

I woke up to this news and felt very sad. I used to love her movies when I was a child, and my father always talked about how he grew up seeing her movies.