Launched to fame at the age of just three, Shirley Temple was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars of the pre-WWII era. But, sadly, throughout her early career the child actress was repeatedly taken advantage of by many of the men she worked with. Here’s a look at the silver screen icon’s heart-breaking story.
Born in Santa Monica, California, in 1928, Shirley Temple was pushed to perform by her parents at a very young age. By the end of 1932, she’d already been signed to Educational Pictures and appeared in her debut feature film, The Red-Haired Alibi. Temple’s big break then came when she was cast in 1934’s Stand Up and Cheer!
After appearing in Little Miss Marker, the youngster starred in a film especially written for her, Bright Eyes. And a year later, she was awarded a Juvenile Oscar. Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt became a fan, declaring, “It is a splendid thing that for just fifteen cents, an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles,” according to Anne Edwards’ biography, Shirley Temple: American Princess.