Though many doubted her, the bubbly and buxom blonde has been able to conquer Hollywood – all without losing her signature wacky (and often raunchy) sense of humor. Let’s take a look at how she became what one journalist referred to as “Carol Burnett trapped in Marilyn Monroe’s body”.
Born in a working-class suburb of Evergreen Park in Chicago, Jenny McCarthy seemed to be worlds away from the glamor of Hollywood. Jenny, along with her sisters Lynette, Joanne, and Amy spent their time roaming around their neighborhood. Though her last name sounds Irish, Jenny’s ancestry actually includes German and Polish ancestry in addition to Irish.
Jenny’s parents were hard workers, her father, Dan worked as a steel mill foreman while her mother worked several jobs when she wasn’t taking care of the children. We’re sure that little Jenny never thought she would become an international star.
A Strict Upbringing
Considering Jenny’s risque claim to fame, it would be surprising to know that before she was posing in her birthday suit, she actually grew up in a very religious household. Jenny’s family were staunch Catholics, meaning the girls spent most of their lives attending church services and adhering to strict catholic values.
Her parents often worked multiple jobs in order to send the girls to a prestigious catholic school and Jenny joked that she and her sisters would “lay with rosaries and statues all over our bodies because we thought that would protect us from Satan!”
Dreams of Stardom
Though she lived in a rough neighborhood, Jenny always felt she would become famous. As a child, she used to watch the classic game show “Wheel of Fortune” with her mother. Her mother, Linda, would tell the young star, “ "You can have Vanna's job - go walk like that," while showing her how to walk and act like the television personality Vanna White.
Jenny would also fantasize about becoming a famous celebrity like Olivia Newton-John, even dressing up like country superstar Dolly Parton for Halloween. Little did she know that she would soon become just as famous!
It might come as a surprise, but as a little girl, Jenny McCarthy actually dreamed of becoming a nun! In an interview, she explained that she wasn’t allowed to have “Fonzie posters on the wall growing up so I was stuck with Jesus, so I couldn’t help but have a crush on him.”
Her devotion to her faith quickly changed, however, when she found out that being a nun would mean that she wouldn’t be able to have her own family. The actress joked, “I had to take off the habit and put on my push-up bra.”
While we all know her as Jenny McCarthy, the star almost went by a different moniker. In a 1998 interview on “The Late Late Show With Tom Snyder”, the celebrity revealed that as a child, she planned on using a different name to make it in Hollywood - Rhonda!
Thinking that her birth name Jenny wasn’t fit for a career in showbiz, the Chicago native began requesting that people refer to her as Rhonda. She told the host that her grandparents would even make out their Christmas cards to “Rhonda” and not Jenny!
A Secret Brunette
When most fans think of Jenny McCarthy, they imagine a blonde and famously buxom woman. But as she revealed on an episode of “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee”, she was harboring a deep secret- she’s actually a natural brunette.
The star explained that when her brown hair began to come in, she tried to lighten it with a lightning spray which turned her hair orange. Jenny’s mother decided to let her bleach her hair to correct the color resulting in her signature flaxen locks! She looks practically unrecognizable with her dark hair!
High School Highs and Lows
Watching Jenny’s confident personality on shows like “Singled Out” and seeing her glamorous photoshoots, one would never think that she struggled to fit in as a high school student, but the star actually had a particularly rough time during these high school years.
Though she attended an expensive catholic school across town, Jenny was actually quite poor. Her father had to work extra jobs to afford the tuition, and Jenny often felt ostracized by her wealthier peers. Jenny often considered herself to be an outcast at the all-girls Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School.
The “Perfect Target”
Though Jenny often felt out of place because of her poor background, her looks often made her a victim of bullying. In an interview with Dr.Drew Pinsky, Jenny called her classmates in her all-girls school “vicious”.
Not only did she get made fun of, but she was beaten up numerous times by residents in her rough neighborhood. Jenny blamed this “very scary” point of her life due to her looks, especially her big, curly blonde hair which she says made her a “perfect target” for the bullies.
After graduating high school, Jenny McCarthy found herself in a place familiar to many - what should she do? Jenny enrolled at Southern Illinois University to study nursing but dropped out after two years. She returned home and began working at a Polish deli in her neighborhood.
Though she worked behind the deli counter, Jenny knew that she was destined for something bigger, and so did the deli’s manager. Jenny shared that she would often sign bags, which the deli’s manager would tape up on the wall, saying, “Some day, I'm telling you, it will be worth something."
Struggling to Make Ends Meet
Before returning home to work in a local deli, Jenny McCarthy worked as a bartender while studying at Southern Illinois University. Though she was working, she often had trouble making ends meet making her resort to some pretty drastic ways to survive.
Jenny said that she would often flirt with men in the bar where she worked, then go to their homes where she would sneak into their kitchens, steal their pizzas and “run home! We’re sure she’s happy that she no longer has to steal cold leftovers from strangers!
Confident with her looks, and less interested in slicing salami at a deli for the rest of her life, Jenny McCarthy decided to pursue modeling. Unfortunately, despite her Covergirl looks, the young star was rejected from agency after agency.
Though she had a very svelte figure, she was told that she didn't have the correct measurements for modeling. But just when she felt completely defeated sitting on the street corner after being rejected once again, she saw something that would change her life (and career) forever - the infamous bunny logo.
A Risky Move
Having been raised in a strict catholic house, the idea of posing for “Playboy '' magazine seemed like downright heresy. Calling seeing the playboy building an example of when “things in your life just happen for some reason”, the blonde decided to go for it.
She realized posing for the famous men’s magazine could help change her life. Though she used to be disgusted by the magazine when customers would buy it at the deli where she worked, she later thought, if those chicks could do it, why couldn't she?”
Nothing Can Stop Her Now
With a new career path ahead of her, it seemed like nothing could stop Jenny McCarthy from pursuing her dream of becoming a model for “Playboy” magazine. The only thing that seemed to stop her was a very bossy secretary at the magazine’s office who told her she couldn’t just waltz into the office and onto the pages.
Thankfully, just as she was waiting for the elevator, one of the magazine’s executives suggested that she try auditioning for a photo shoot to become a “Playmate”. This lucky break got her back on track!
Strike a Pose
After being told that she could audition to become a “Playmate”, Jenny McCarthy soon found herself in front of a professional photography team wearing not much. She explained” I put on a bikini... I didn't know how to pose; it was like a mugshot.”
Despite her lack of experience, within an hour of posing for the mag, she received a call saying, “You’re Miss October!”. That October of 1993, Jenny McCarthy was offered $20,000 by the magazine - a far cry from what she was making working behind the counter of her neighborhood deli!
The Big Photoshoot
Not only was her Playboy photoshoot controversial because of its explicit nature, but the shoot also got attention because of the schoolgirl uniform that Jenny McCarthy wore in the spread. To make matters even more eyebrow-raising, Hugh Hefner himself said that he chose the blonde beauty out of 10.000 other applicants to be a Playmate due to the “wholesome Catholic girl” persona she exuded.
It seemed to work - Jenny’s down-to-earth nature made popular with readers of the magazine. Though she said she “cried” about the experience, she later credits it with launching her career.
The Plan to Hide Playboy
With such a religious upbringing, it's only natural that Jenny McCarthy would try her best to hide her “Playboy” photo spread from her religious parents. She was so scared that she even took $2,000 from the $20,000 that she received to send them on a cruise the week the magazine came out.
Unfortunately, it was everywhere. Jenny told the late Larry King that her house was egged and her sisters (still attending catholic school) were tortured because of their sister’s actions.
A Nude Awakening
While Jenny McCarthy was feeling excited to have been selected as “Miss October'', it seemed that not everyone felt the same way. Her mother was apparently so disgusted by the news that she apparently would tell Jenny that she only had three daughters now.
Heartbroken, Jenny would try to get her mother to see why she decided to pose for the magazine saying, that this was her only option to get out. She said "I will be a Playmate that does something great, mom. Trust me and stand by me.'"
Things Are Looking Up
Though Jenny McCarthy’s devout catholic parents didn’t approve of her photoshoot they soon decided to embrace their daughter’s risque career choice - especially when she was paid $100,000 to be Playmate of the Year in 1994!
Jenny used that money to help her parents move out of the rough neighborhood where she grew up and into the wealthier suburbs of Chicago. Jenny explains that her conflicted parents were happy and sad all at the same time because they didn't envision the daughter having to do that to help them out.
Welcome to the Playboy Mansion
Not only was Jenny McCarthy a popular centerfold model for Playboy magazine, but the model was even invited to live with the magazine's founder, the late Hugh Hefner.
Though many have said that living in the mansion was one nonstop party, Jenny has referred to it as a catholic school. Jenny shared that Hugh, who was married to his second wife Kimberly Conrad at the time, ran the famous mansion like a strict dormitory - a far cry from the wild stories many others have shared about the famous residences.
Onwards and Upwards
By the early ‘90s, Jenny McCarthy seemed to be on a roll. But although posing nude had awarded her fame and fortune, she decided to make the hard decision to leave and move on from the magazine.
Hugh and her fellow playmates were mad at her for leaving, she explained that the best one can be is 'Playmate of the Year'. There was no 'Playmate of the Century'. Recognizing her shelf-life, Jenny decided it would be better for her career if she went on to do other projects - a move that would pay off.
Stereotyped and Stuck
One would assume that becoming “Playmate of the Year'' would open all sorts of professional doors, but apparently, that wasn’t the case. Jenny McCarthy revealed that no one wanted anything to do with her because of her past.
Though Jenny wanted to pursue comedy, she was told she would be better in shows like “Baywatch”. The stereotyping and typecasting were so bad that she had to audition 12 times and her manager had to make seven phone calls in order to land her co-hosting gig on “Singled Out” because MTV thought she was too wild!
The Girl on TV
Though she had hosted the Playboy channel’s “Hot Rocks” music show, Jenny soon found herself faced with an opportunity too good to pass up - she was selected to be a co-host (alongside Chris Hardwick) on MTV’s reality dating show “Singled Out”.
The Chicago native was shocked not just because of the opportunity to take part in such a popular program, but also because she finally got to be herself while on a major network. The star said she was handed a microphone and was told by the channel that they hired her to be her!
TV Dreams Almost Go Up in Flames
After being chosen to co-host one of the most popular shows on MTV, Jenny McCarthy’s big Hollywood break almost never happened. The night before she would assume her co-hosting duties, Jenny’s hotel room caught on fire after she left some candles unattended.
The celebrity says that she was woken up by a guardian angel screaming at her in her dream, which she still remembers causing her to wake up and leave the room. Scarily enough, firefighters told her that had she stayed in the room five more minutes, she would've been dead!
MTV’s Surprise Hit
While dating shows have been a part of television for decades, MTV’s “Singled Out” was unique in how entertaining it was. The now-cult classic was known for its unconventional (and often hilarious) contestants and moments.
One of the biggest appeals of the show, naturally, was co-host Jenny McCarthy’s larger-than-life personality and outrageous peak-’90s wardrobe. Though Jenny says, “No one thought that show was going to be anything other than bad TV, but it became a huge cult classic.” so much so that the show was even revived years later, but it just wasn't the same without Jenny!
Competition of the Blonde
If you ask most people who grew up during the ‘90s who their favorite blonde was, many would find it hard to decide between Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy. Both blondes owed their fame largely in part to their popular shoots, but their careers tended to go in different directions despite both being repped by the manager (and Jenny’s boyfriend at the time, Ray Manzella).
Though Pamela dropped manager Ray, the two were still in competition - even appearing on two different covers for the September of 1997 issue of the famous magazine.
All Good Things Come to an End
If there’s one thing to know about Jenny McCarthy, it’s that she has often departed from projects at unexpected times. For example, at the height of the popularity of MTV’s dating show “Singled Out”, Jenny decided to leave the show in 1997, only to be replaced by fellow ‘90s star, Carmen Electra.
Though her time on the cult-favorite show was brief, Jenny didn’t want to limit herself. She wanted to explore the world of acting with her variety sketch comedy show “The Jenny McCarthy Show” and her sitcom, “Jenny”.
Jenny’s Bathroom Humor
Though she may have been one of the most desired women of the ‘90s, Jenny McCarthy always made it a point to not take herself too seriously. Though she had told Howard Stern about her bathroom habits in graphic detail, few would have thought she would star in a national campaign for Candie's shoes (remember them?) sitting on the toilet.
Naturally, this toilet-themed photoshoot irked many who found it vulgar and distasteful. Candies, however, weren't complaining. The controversial ad boosted sales by a reported 19% No wonder, they invited her back for more bathroom-based ads!
From Playboy to Network Television
Described by one journalist as, “Carol Burnett trapped in Marilyn Monroe's body,” Jenny McCarthy had an undeniable talent for humor and shocking audiences. Her two television projects launched in 1997 after her departure from “Singled Out” were no different.
Unfortunately, critics and audiences didn’t quite appreciate the blonde’s unique brand of humor. “The Jenny McCarthy Show” was universally panned especially because of the often disturbing scenes. Her sitcom, “Jenny” didn’t fare too well either - it was canceled after just one season. Jenny’s time in Hollywood suddenly seemed to be under threat.
Old And New Career Paths
1997 marked an especially interesting point in Jenny McCarthy’s life - though she once again appeared on the cover of Playboy’s September issue, she had now embarked on a new career path - writer.
With her attempt at television shows not being as successful as anticipated, the blonde decided to release her first of many books - an autobiography called “Jen-X: Jenny McCarthy's Open Book”. The book, which gave a candid look into the media personality’s mind became a hit and would inspire her to write several other bestselling books.
Jenny’s “Playboy” Comments Rustle some feathers
Though her “Playboy” photo spread helped launch her career, Jenny McCarthy has often tried to distance herself from the famous men's magazine - a move that bothered other former Playmates like Shannon Tweed.
In reference to Jenny’s decision, the 1982 Playmate of the Year coldly said, "I'm not one of those who did the magazine, then tries to hide it for the rest of your life.'' She even said that she didn’t believe that Jenny was losing opportunities because of the risque photos, insinuating instead that the blonde didn’t have anything to “deliver”. Ouch!
From Magazines to Becoming a Movie Star
Having proved she was more than comfortable in front of the camera, Jenny McCarthy decided to channel her charismatic personality and centerfold looks into a film career. In 1998, she appeared alongside South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone in the sports comedy “BASEketball”.
Then, in 1999, she had a role in the comedy “Diamonds” starring film legends Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, and Dan Aykroyd. Though there was no lack of star power, both films were universally panned. While her movie career was off to a bumpy start, audiences still loved Jenny.
Plastic Surgery Regrets
Having posed in her birthday suit various times, you would think that Jenny McCarthy would be comfortable with every inch of her body. But in a revealing interview on “The Late Late Show With Tom Snyder”, Jenny revealed that one of her biggest regrets was actually getting her chest augmented - a surgery done at just 19 years old.
She initially thought that the surgery would enhance her life, but it actually had the opposite effect. The celebrity explained that her bodacious bosom has resulted in her being taken less seriously.
A New Love
Her appearance in the films didn’t result in Jenny McCarthy walking away with any acting awards, however, she did end up getting something out of it - a new love interest in the form of actor and director John Asher.
John, known for his role on the television series Weird Science (based on the classic John Hughes film of the same name) was instantly smitten. Jenny, who had previously dated her manager Ray Manzella who was almost twice her age was now dating someone just a couple of years older than she was.
Jenny Says “I Do”
Just as her career was heating up and going on in a new direction, so was her love life. After meeting on the set of her film “Diamonds”, Jenny McCarthy and the film’s director, John Asher began dating. Not long after, in 1999, the two exchanged vows.
In an interview with Bruce W. Cook, John praised his wife’s performance in “Diamonds” as “flawless” and that she told him, “I love you and I’m going to marry you”. To her credit, Jenny called feeling like "electricity hit me” when she met her future husband.
Back to Television
Jenny McCarthy didn’t quite find success with her own television show and sitcom, but audiences still loved her and loved seeing her onscreen. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, Jenny seemed to be everywhere on television. From “MADtv” to recurring roles on shows like “Just Shoot Me!” and “The Drew Carey Show”, fans couldn't get enough of the blond!
But while things seemed to be going well, and Jenny seemed to light up the screen with her charismatic and hilarious personality, behind the scenes, the actress and model was going through some very difficult times…
Yes, she has a natural talent for comedy, but it turns out that Jenny McCarthy’s favorite movie genre is actually horror. The blonde star shared she always dreamed of starring in a horror movie, even pretending to act out suspenseful scenes.
In 2000 her dream came true when she starred as a pretentious actress named Sarah Darling in the horror film “Scream 3”. In true Jenny form, she later starred in the parody film Scary Movie 3 where she poked fun at some of the most famous horror movies (including the “Scream” film series) alongside fellow Playmate, Pamela Anderson.
A Devastating Discovery
Most parents would agree that there’s nothing worse than knowing that your child is having issues with their health - especially when you have to try to address your child’s health concerns in the public eye.
When her son Evan was just two years old, Jenny McCarthy and her husband John Asher’s son began to have a series of serious health complications resulting in hospital stays and even fears for his life. Then, news that would change everything - at just two years old doctors diagnosed Evan with autism. Jenny was devastated, saying that nothing had prepared her for that.
Following in Her Sister’s Footsteps
Though her first photoshoot probably sent shockwaves in her strict catholic family, it seems that it may have opened the door for her siblings to follow in her famous footsteps. In 2004, Jenny McCarthy’s sister Amy decided to strip down in front of the camera and become one of Playboy’s “Cyber Girls'' wearing not much but some carefully placed jewelry.
Not only did she pose for Playboy, but Amy also appeared in Jenny’s 2006 film “Dirty Love”. Though the two have about four years between them, they look like identical twins!
A Busy Girl
In between being a mother and world-famous celebrity, in 2005, Jenny McCarthy added yet another job to her resume - travel television host with E!’s travel reality show called “Party at the Palms”. The reality show, which was hosted by Jenny, followed the wild and crazy antics of guests and celebrities who frequented the Las Vegas Palms Hotel.
Though the show lasted just one season, fans were happy to see Jenny back as a host, while fans of the famous Vegas venue were excited to see the hotel’s rooftop Ghost Bar and Rain nightclub featured.
Baby Book Author
After breaking into the blonde centerfold scene with her controversial schoolgirl-themed photoshoot, few people could have predicted that Jenny McCarthy’s career would go from skimpy photoshoots to writing best-selling books about pregnancy and motherhood.
But like most of her life, Jenny has defied the critics. In 2004, Jenny wrote a book about her pregnancy experience called “Belly Laughs” followed by a 2005 book about motherhood called “Baby Laughs” like most of her books, the two offered a no holds barred look at the often-less glamorous side of becoming a parent as told in Jenny’s hilarious way.
An “Outrageous Comedy”
No stranger to gross-out humor, Jenny McCarthy decided to write a script for a comedic film called “Dirty Love”. The film was actually intended to be a television show but was deemed too “raunchy” and “outrageous” for network television, so she turned it into a movie.
Despite Jenny’s hard work and a supporting role from fellow late ‘90s “babe” Carmen Electra, the film flopped and was universally panned. To make matters worse, the film, which had been written and directed by Jenny’s husband John Asher, came out just as the couple had filed for divorce.
A New Love
They may have been one of Hollywood's least likely couples, but during their five-year-long relationship, actor Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy were completely smitten with one another. The two met in 2005 and somehow managed to keep their relationship under wraps until the following year when they went public.
Though they seemed like a bit of an odd match, fans soon fell for the unique couple, especially because of how doting Jim Carrey was to Jenny McCarthy’s son Evan. Though many speculated that they would tie the knot, their highly publicized relationship, unfortunately, ended in 2010.
Jenny Goes Behind the Scenes
There’s no doubt that Jenny McCarthy is comfortable in front of the camera - whether it's acting or modeling, her natural confidence and charisma shine through. It turns out, however, that she is also interested in taking part in the behind-the-scenes action too.
In 2005, she got behind the camera and became Playboy magazine’s first Playmate to serve as a celebrity photographer where she snapped pictures of model Jennifer Madden for the magazine's online Cyber Club feature. Host, model, author, and actress? It seems like Jenny is comfortable taking on any job in entertainment!
Sealed With a Kiss
While many of us have our own New Year’s Eve traditions, for a decade, many viewers would tune in to watch the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve set in Times Square hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Jenny McCarthy.
The bubbly blonde was known for kissing a lucky member of the U.S. Armed Forces as soon as the clock struck midnight. After ten years of locking lips with men in uniform, Jenny announced in 2020 that she was going to be staying at home with her family instead of hosting the renowned event.
Though her controversial photospreads initially caused some tension within her family, Jenny McCarthy is actually extremely close with her family, especially her sisters. While one of her sisters followed her career by posing for the men's magazine, her other sister actually followed a different path.
Sister Joanne (JoJo) McCarthy played basketball professionally for the American Basketball League’s Chicago Condors before studying makeup artistry. She has done makeup for shows like “Pretty Little Liars”, and for her sister’s reality show “Donnie Loves Jenny”. Jenny has stated how happy she has been to have her sister on set!
Jenny Isn’t the Only Famous McCarthy
There are many McCarthys in the entertainment industry, but only two are actually related - Jenny McCarthy and Melissa McCarthy. Melissa is Jenny’s cousin and while they’re not the closest today (Jenny once referred to them as living in “opposite worlds”), they were quite close as children.
Jenny also helped Melissa enter show business by hooking her up to her first acting job - a cameo on Jenny’s sketch comedy series “The Jenny McCarthy Show”. Jenny also rushed to Melissa’s defense when a movie critic published a particularly critical comment about Melissa’s appearance.
A New “View”
As a long-time host and one of the most outspoken women in Hollywood, Jenny McCarthy seemed like a natural fit for the long-running daytime talk show, “The View”. In 2013, after appearing on the show more than a dozen times and even co-hosting, Jenny got a seat at the show's popular table.
Sitting alongside “View” veterans like Barbara Walters, Jenny’s warm personality quickly made her a fan favorite. Unfortunately, Jenny didn’t feel the same - after being let go after just one year, she referred to her time on the show as “miserable” because “I couldn’t be myself”.
Road to Love
Though many fans wanted her relationship with actor Jim Carrey to work out, it seemed that fate had other plans. In 2012, while appearing on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen”, Jenny McCarthy met former New Kids on the Block singer and “Blue Bloods” actor Donnie Wahlberg.
Though Donnie was admittingly shy when they first met, they were soon dating and later tied the knot in 2014. Today, the two have shared their love story on reality television shows like “Donnie Loves Jenny” and on their many heart-warming adorable social media posts.
A New Gig
If there's one thing that Jenny McCarthy knows, it’s how to entertain a crowd while still staying true to her humble and funny self. It’s no wonder then, that the musical reality show, “The Masked Singer” would add Jenny to be one of its judges.
Since 2019, Jenny has been a judge on the Fox musical reality show competition. On one 2021 episode, Jenny’s own husband, Donnie Wahlberg even performed (in a costume of course) and Jenny had no idea thanks to some seriously sneaky planning by the network. Fans and viewers found it hilarious!
From Model to Make-Up Maven
With a sister who works as a professional makeup artist, and decades of experience getting makeup applied for films and magazine shoots, Jenny McCarthy knows what it takes to look her best.
It was this love for beauty products and playing around with her looks that led her to launch her own brand of cosmetics called Formless Beauty - a line she calls “something that really came out of my heart,” Considering how driven and talented she is, we wouldn’t be surprised if she conquered the world of cosmetics next!
Shirley Temple was an icon, there’s no doubt about that. She made her mark in the world in a number of different ways. First, it was as the adorable and beloved, bubbly child star who lit up the screen with song and dance numbers.
Later, it was by the way she impressed the world by bouncing from ex-child star to U.S. Ambassador. But how exactly did she make that transition? And whatever happened to Shirley?
Destined for Greatness
Like all child stars, it was Shirley’s parents (her mother, Gertrude) and not herself who made the decision to enter into the world of entertainment. Gertrude saw her adorable little girl and decided to put her in a prestigious performing arts academy when she was less than three years old.
Shirley would later admit that she loved the work and the fast-paced lifestyle. In fact, she admitted in an interview that her mother wasn’t “pushy like other stage moms,” and that sometimes she felt like she pulled her around.
Brightening the Room
Things were pretty bad in the days of the Great Depression. In a time when there wasn’t much to smile about in real life, the dimple-cheeked, sweet little Shirley Temple provided some much-needed comic relief (and cuteness) to audiences across the nation.
She played in a number of movies throughout the 1930s, most of which were lighthearted musicals.
It was clear from a very young age that Temple was destined for greatness. She started dance lessons right around the time she began her career in the entertainment industry.
Her smile could light up a room, and that’s exactly what Hollywood executives saw when she came their way. In fact, 20th Century Fox was just dying to mold her into their perfect little star – which is exactly what they did.
Rise to Fame
Shirley’s film career began in 1931 when she was just three years old. Over the course of the next seven years, she’d appear in nearly 30 movies, warming the hearts of people everywhere.
She wouldn’t achieve international stardom until 1933 when she appeared in her hit, Bright Eyes. Afterward, young Shirley Temple would become a household name. She started to pop up on screens all across America, brightening the faces of people from all different walks of life.
Not My Gang
"Our Gang," which was also known as "The Little Rascals," was a series of short films, put together by a troupe of adorable, talented children. But whoever was in charge of casting for the series made a few mistakes that they probably regretted a lot later on down the road.
Two of those mistakes were turning their backs on future stars Shirley Temple, and Mickey Rooney. Seriously, though, how could they have said no to little Shirley Temple?
The Face of it All
Shirley Temple had a salary that would put most people in this day and age to shame – which is pretty sad when you think about it. But, as much money as she raked in from singing and dancing across the screen in films, a lot of the money came from advertisements for major brands.
Shirley appeared in a number of ads for all sorts of companies, including Dodge and Quaker Oats, among many others. She continued to appear in ads throughout the years, even into her teens, including one 1944 ad she shot for Royal Crown Cola, including their catchphrase, “it does taste best!”
The Academy Award Goes To
In 1935, the Board of Governors actually invented a brand new, honorary award just for 6-year-old Shirley Temple. The award was a miniature Oscar, making her the youngest person in history to receive the Juvenile Award.
After presenting her with the honor, 11 other children received the same award between ’35 and 1960. Actress Tatum O’Neal was the first to ever receive the "big" version of the Oscar award.
There’s no question about the fact that Shirley’s curly locks defined her on-screen persona. She had curls most little girls would envy.
Her mother also acted as her hairstylist, and a lot of time and energy went into creating the look on a regular basis.
Aside from taking Shirley to each performance and working as her moral support, her mother Gertrude was also receiving a steady, weekly paycheck for her efforts on her daughter’s hair.
After all, she did typically pin about 55 individual curls into her head each night before bedtime – which couldn’t have been very comfortable for Shirley to sleep on. Still, her mother received $250/week for the styling.
Just like conspiracy theories about “MK Ultra” and shadowy secret groups in Hollywood, there was no difference in Shirley’s heyday. In fact, there was a time when she was actually accused of being a communist.
The conspiracy got so out of control that it was even taken up to Congress for debate. She was just ten years old at the time. The accusations came from a member of the House of Un-American Activities Community, who was later ridiculed and shunned for the entire (insane) debacle.
Shirley Temple was a beacon of hope and light in a very dark world, during even darker times. She smiled and sang and danced, lighting up the screens and bringing joy to audiences everywhere, during the midst of the Great Depression.
She had a fanbase that stretched far and wide and included people from all walks of life, from farmers to the president of the U.S, and other powerful people.
The Shirley Temple
Temple got so famous that even a drink was named after her. A Shirley Temple is a mixture of ginger ale and a splash of super-sweet grenadine syrup, garnished with a maraschino cherry. Sometimes, the ginger ale is swapped out with lemon-lime soda or even lemonade, and some people choose to include a splash of orange juice as well.
According to the actress, she would order these all of the time when going out to eat with her parents as a child. It is a perfect “mocktail,” with just the right amount of sweetness!
Many people did, and still do, find a lot of Shirley Temple’s films to be incredibly creepy. This is particularly true for "Baby Burlesks", a series in which the three-year-old plays a burlesque dancer, dressing in racy costumes and dancing around, as per usual.
She would later call the entire series a “cynical exploitation of our childish innocence,” when she wrote about it in her 1988 autobiography.
Keep on Dancing
In 1936, controversy struck again when little Shirley Temple appeared on-screen in "Captain January," donning a skimpy hula outfit and a lei. When the film was first tested on audiences – they did not approve.
In fact, it was protested to a point that many viewers even referred to the entire thing as being “immoral.” But that still wouldn’t be the most controversial of the works the young star would put out during her heyday.
Shirley Temple appeared in "Curly Top" in 1935. It wound up being one of her most successful films of all time, with some favorite numbers including Animal Crackers in my Soup, and The Simple Things in Life.
Still, the film wound up being banned in Denmark, with the official reasoning being called “unspecified corruption.”
"Curly Top" was beloved here in the United States, but a few other countries were concerned about the message it was sending and wouldn’t allow it to be shown. It ended up being banned not only in Denmark but also in Italy and Switzerland.
Still, Shirley seemed to have a good time filming the movie – as she often did – unless, of course, she was being harshly disciplined to keep her in line.
The Dark Room
There are still plenty of dark rumors to emerge out of Hollywood these days regarding children in the entertainment industry. However, many people don’t wind up talking about their experiences until after their days of performing are behind them.
Take Shirley, who admitted to being forced to sit on a block of ice in a dark sound booth. It took many years for Hollywood to abandon their cruel methods.
While Shirley may have been one of a few child stars to emerge unscathed from the woes of growing up in Hollywood, it doesn’t mean she didn’t go through some pretty wild experiences along the way.
She was at the center of a few conspiracies, some of which involved powerful people, including politicians and religious figures. Others, however, were simply ordinary crazy people, like one woman who attacked Shirley in 1939, claiming she thought she’d stolen her daughter’s soul.
Adult in a Child’s Body
There was one point in time when this little girl was seriously investigated by the Vatican after rumors started to swirl that she was actually a grown woman in a child’s body.
Her mom likely hid most of this from her at the time, as best as possible, but it must have been interesting to learn once she’d gotten older!
Many members of both the public and media had loads to say about the raciness of Shirley’s productions. Novelist Graham Greene had this to say when she was just nine, “adult emotions of love and grief glissade across the mask of childhood, a childhood that is only skin-deep. It is clever, but it cannot last.
Her admirers- middle-aged men and clergymen – respond to her dubious coquetry, to the sight of her well-shaped and desirable little body, packed with enormous vitality, only because the safety curtain of story and dialogue drops between their intelligence and their desire.”
Missing a Chance
In 1944, National Velvet, starring Mickey Rooney and a young Elizabeth Taylor, hit the screens. The film was based on a 1935 novel and was exceptionally well received by critics and audiences alike. Things could’ve been a bit different, perhaps, if Shirley Temple would’ve held the role Taylor played.
That’s what would’ve happened if filmmakers would’ve had their first choice. Unfortunately, Shirley’s mother turned the role down, as she believed it to be under her daughter’s level.
Most people can only dream of retiring early, but for Shirley, it was all too real, when she retired from the industry at the young age of 22. However, for someone who’d been acting for so many years, it felt like the right time.
She was tired of only landing smaller, less substantial roles across the board and, in 1950, announced her exit from entertainment.
Praised for her Efforts
Most three-year-olds are busy throwing tantrums about not getting the toys or snacks that they want, but Shirley Temple was making major motion pictures in the prime of her childhood. She had earned a number of awards before she was even seven years old. In 1934, she got the Juvenile Academy Award for her outstanding work in several movies from 1931 until that point.
Anyone trying to compare their life’s accomplishments with Shirley Temple would likely feel a bit…inadequate. After all, she’d earned an Oscar before she would’ve been old enough to graduate elementary school!
Beloved by Many
Shirley Temple was a favorite of many famous and powerful people, hence the U.S President at the time, Franklin D. Roosevelt, invited her to visit him while she was traveling through the capital.
She had already met Mrs. Roosevelt once before, but they would meet again on this road trip Temple was taking through D.C. During the said trip, as the President’s wife leaned over, the young actress lined up a slingshot and let it rip – straight into Mrs. Roosevelt’s behind!
As she started to age into her teen years, Shirley’s interest in being wrapped up in filming for the majority of her days started to fade away. She yearned to have more experiences like other girls her age.
Ultimately she got what she dreamed of when her mother found the perfect private school for her to attend. Temple was thrilled to arrive and spend a lot of time with other teenage girls, away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood.
Leaving Fame Behind
As Shirley started to have these new, “normal” teenage experiences, she was slowly leaving the last traces of her fame behind. After all, the majority of her power on-screen came from the adorable baby-faced child actress that once graced the screen.
It’s not that she wasn’t still incredibly talented, just that she started to lose interest, and the world subsequently did the same.
Slowing her Roll
Between the ages of three and ten, the actress appeared in 29 movies. In comparison, she only acted in 14 from the ages of 14-21. Her beauty and youthfulness held long into her adult years.
Still, she had lost interest in Tinseltown and began looking for different types of opportunities. She probably had very little to no idea that she’d end up representing the U.S. as the Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.
The American Dream
Like most girls her age at the time, Shirley dreamed of starting a family of her own. But in order to do that, she needed to take the first step into entering a serious romantic relationship.
She had dreams of becoming the first girl in her class at school to tie the knot. And, in 1943, she would meet the man who would fulfill those dreams and take her as his bride before she even turned 18. It looks like her dream of becoming a young bride was about to become a reality.
Going to the Chapel
When Shirley was 17 years old, she married her boyfriend of nearly two years, Army Air Corps sergeant John Agar. They held the ceremony, which was attended by 500 guests, in a Methodist Church in Los Angeles.
A few years later, the couple would give birth to their daughter, Linda Susan. After his stint in the military, Agar chose to enter into the world of entertainment himself, and the two even made a couple of films together.
Getting to Know You
Agar and Temple had actually known each other for quite some time before they got married. Agar’s younger sister had gone to school with the actress and met her when she was just 15.
In 1944, her future husband acted as her escort to a party held by her boss. The following year was when he popped the question. And of course, since she had been dreaming of getting married, she was quick to say “yes.”
Calling it Quits
Although the two had seemingly remained strong for several years, things behind closed doors weren’t all sunshine and unicorns. Shirley realized very early on in the marriage that she was with someone who had serious substance abuse problems.
That was just the beginning of the rocky road that was their marriage. In 1949, the couple decided to officially split up and got divorced. The actress wound up with custody of their daughter.
Aside from being mistreated by her husband; Shirley had dealt with a fair share from studio executives over the years. Perhaps this had something to do with why she started to slow down on filming. She one time reported being chased around a desk by David O’Selznick who was trying to force himself on her.
Her reaction? A swift kick to the groin. Some say that wanting to get married early was a pressure she felt due to all of the violence she faced from studio execs.
After going to school, Shirley made her comeback with MGM, thanks to signing a contract in 1944 with O’Selznick. Unfortunately, once he became romantically involved with Jennifer Jones, he reportedly stopped caring about doing anything to develop Shirley’s career.
Then, in December of 1950, Shirley made the announcement that she was retiring from the film. It wouldn’t be the last the world would see of the actress, however.
Meeting Mr. Right
It was the same year she announced her retirement (1950,) that she took a trip out to Honolulu, Hawaii – where she would happen to have a “meet-cute” with her future husband, Charlie Black.
It was where Black happened to be living and working at the time, and Shirley was fascinated by him from the moment they met, which wouldn’t have happened had it not been for the flat surf conditions at the moment.
The night the two would first lock eyes went down at a cocktail party, at which both the actress and Mr. Black were in attendance. It seemed fortuitous that he would call his friend to ask whether or not surf conditions were right.
His friend informed him that they were not and that he should instead opt for the party. It was at this very cocktail party where he would meet the woman who would forever change his life. The two fell in love and spent the next five and a half decades together.
Tying the Knot
The same year that she retired from acting, Temple met and married her second husband, WWII Navy Intelligence Officer, Charles Alden Black. His father happened to be president and chairman of Pacific Gas and Electric, making him one of the richest men in California, and the country in general.
After the wedding, the two moved to Washington D.C after Black was called back to duty. A few years later, Temple would give birth to Charles Alden Black Jr.
Later in Life
In the 1960s, Shirley became active in politics as a member of the Republican Party of California. She even tried her hand at running for office in the state’s 11th congressional district. Although she was unsuccessful in the attempt, it didn’t stop her from moving forward in her career.
She served in three different ambassadorships, as a U.S delegate to the United Nations under President Nixon in ’69, along with serving as an ambassador to Ghana from ’74-’76, and Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992.
Making her Move
When she was a girl, Shirley Temple was the adorable household name everyone in America knew and loved. This included powerful political and other public figures, including J. Edgar Hoover and of course, Eleanor Roosevelt, among several others.
This was her first introduction to faces which would later help her make her way into politics. As Shirley started to move further away from the world of entertainment, she started moving towards her ultimate career as a U.S. Ambassador.
Running for Office
In 1967, Shirley Temple Black threw her hat in the ring for a seat in California’s congress. She was optimistic about becoming the first woman to hold the position in the state. The former actress considered herself to be a Republican-Independent, running for the GOP nomination.
Unfortunately, she lost to Pete McCloskey, an experienced politician who’d unsuccessfully challenged President Nixon for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 1972 but remained in the House until the early 1980s.
Shirley refused to let her unsuccessful run for office deter her from trying to help the American people, as she so desperately craved. Plus, she still had friends in high places.
In 1969, President Nixon appointed her as a part of the diplomatic team to the United Nations. This was her first stepping stone to becoming the U.S. Ambassador to multiple countries, including Ghana and Czechoslovakia.
All of the work the former actress had done with her life had not gone unnoticed. In fact, she received a number of awards, including the 2006 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.
At one point, Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “as long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be alright.” She was also named an honorary U.S. Foreign Service Officer and received the Kennedy Center Honors award in 1998.
Growing up Fast
Shirley Temple Black’s career as a movie star hit its peak before she had even been alive for a full decade. She was quoted as revealing something a bit grim about her childhood.
The actress said, "I stopped believing in Santa when I was six years old." My mom took me to the mall to see him, and he asked me for my autograph.” Really, Santa? That’s a great way to ruin someone’s childhood!
Making a Star
You may be wondering how this baby, who wasn’t even two years old at the time, worked such long hours on a seemingly ongoing basis. As you might have guessed, it wasn't easy.
She made 50 films by the time she retired at 22; that’s more films than some actors and actresses make in the entirety of their careers. But was it worth it all for a child, who probably didn’t care much about her million-dollar salary?
Leaving a Legacy
The beloved actress and public figure passed away in 2014 at the age of 85. She was a heavy smoker which was probably the cause. It was Temple's greatest secret as barely anyone saw her with a cigarette in hand.
It was the former child star's biggest secret and a real tragedy when the world lost her.
Why She Wrote Child Star
On a 1988 television talk show called “Town Meeting,” Shirley Temple was the featured guest. She talked about her life as a child actress and her book, “Child Star.” She said she initially started writing it for her children and for her family.
One of her main motivations was to correct inaccuracies about her. She said there were 12 biographies out there, and plenty of room for corrections. One of the biographies had 526 factual errors. After six years of writing, she decided to publish her own bio.
First Awareness Advocate
At 44, Mrs. Temple Black developed breast cancer. She became one of the first supporters of cancer awareness. Most cancer surgeries were secret at the time, but Temple discussed her experience openly.
She even invited the press into her hospital room and discussed everything openly the day after her surgery. She hoped it would help other women and urged them to pay attention to lumps instead of sitting home fearfully.
Little Miss Miracle
Shirley Temple received a nickname from a very powerful person, indeed. She lifted so many spirits during the Great Depression with her movies and her upbeat performances that President Franklin D. Roosevelt named her “Little Miss Miracle.”
He pointed out that for just 15 cents, an American can go to a movie and forget about their troubles for an hour and a half. She was like a national treasure in the way her positive spirit affected struggling citizens, bringing uncounted smiles to the faces of Americans.
Depression Era Cash Cow
Can you believe Shirley Temple was so famous that she was photographed more than FDR? She was such a hit with Americans that she saved Fox studios from going under. In 1933 the studio signed her for what would be her breakout film, “Stand Up and Cheer!”
Her success at Fox, which was nearly bankrupt at the time, facilitated the merge with 20th Century Pictures, saving the studio. Now called 20th Century Fox, the new studio would capitalize on the sensation of the little miracle girl.
Shirley Temple made an appearance at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on March 14, 1935. Smiling for the cameras, she pressed her hand and footprints into the wet concrete officially marking her stardom. She was the youngest Hollywood star ever to leave her prints in the rotunda at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.
She was so young, that she needed help writing her name into the concrete next to her handprints. It says, “Love to you ALL,” and her name plus the date.
Discovered by Producers
The private school that Shirley’s mother enrolled her 2-year-old daughter in was called Mrs. Meglin’s Dance Studio. It was located in Los Angeles and cost 50 cents per week, which she obviously considered a good investment.
One day in 1932, a talent agent from Educational Films Corporation saw the toddler’s ability and offered a part in “Baby Burlesks.” It was not the best experience, but it launched her meteoric career.
A Year Younger
A backroom conspiracy led by Shirley’s mother Gertrude and the studio to hide the young actresses' age began at age five. Instead of saying she was five, they said she was a four-year-old. Other efforts to mask the child’s age included keeping her skirts shorter to expose her chubby toddler legs.
Later, as a 12-year-old, though she was thought to be 11, MGM bound her chest to hide her teenage development. It was only a matter of time before it became impossible to hide her body away.
Shirley Temple had a $150 per week contract with Fox but the studio allowed her to go over to Paramount, for a fee, of course, to make a movie. This movie happened to be “Bright Eyes,” one of her most legendary films. It brought the world her enduring song, “The Good Ship Lollipop,” a syrupy-sweet catchy tune.
Shirley was 6 years old when she played an orphan in that movie and it set the scene for many other films in which she played an orphan. “Bright Eyes” made her the highest-paid star in Hollywood from 1935 to 1938.
The Shirley Temple Doll
The Ideal Toy Corporation began making a doll in Shirley Temple’s image in 1934. The toy company received licensing permission from Shirley’s parents to make it. The doll came out on the heels of the success with “Stand Up and Cheer.”
It was on shelves from 1934 to 1939. The Shirley Temple doll is the most popular personality doll of all time. Other companies have made dolls, but the Ideal Toy Corporation version is the most popular collectible.
She Made $3.2 Million
Shirley Temple earned $3.2 million during her 20-year career. In today’s dollars, it would be worth over $68 million. Still, when she decided to take a look at how much money was in her trust fund from her days as a child actor, she found almost all of it was spent.
There was barely $40,000 left. After learning her father mismanaged it, possibly illegally, and spent it, she responded with her trademark good nature saying that she felt no ill will. According to her autobiography “Child Star,” she wrote that, inexplicably, she felt no disappointment or anger.
An Uncaring Production
When Shirley Temple was just three years old making “Runt Page,” production at the show was very strict. It became especially obvious once the young actress developed an ear infection during the first days of the shoot.
Her mother, Gertrude, had to rush her daughter to the hospital to have her ear lanced. Gertrude begged producer Jack Hays to allow Shirley a day of rest. He refused and demanded she'd be at the set in the morning, or else she’d be replaced.
Why 20th Century Fox Dropped Her
The last movie Shirley Temple starred in was called “Blue Bird.” It was a 1940 film that the studio hoped would be an answer to the success of “The Wizard of Oz.” Since rumors circulated about her being involved in the MGM movie, “Blue Bird” was supposed to be her shot at that type of movie.
Instead, it flopped, failing to bring in a large audience, prompting the studio to cancel her contract. In the technicolor movie, Temple played a distempered child who was searching for happiness. It did not do well, but, ironically, the movie was nominated for two Oscars.
A True Little Princess
In 1939, Temple brought to us one of her most iconic movies. "The Little Princess" was based on a 1905 novel and was Temple's first movie to be shot fully in Technicolor. It was a 1930s Cinderella story.
"The Little Princess" was her last movie as a child superstar and the most expensive movie she appeared in throughout her entire career.
Most Famous Child Star Ever
Not only was Shirley Temple more famous than any actor or actress during her run — far more famous than even Clark Gable — but she is the most famous child actor of all time. During her run from 1935 to 1939, she received more fan mail than film legend Greta Garbo and was photographed more than the president of the United States, who adored her.
No childhood actor has achieved worldwide fame in Hollywood at the level of Shirley Temple. She is considered the most famous child star ever.
Mom as Acting Coach
As Shirley Temple was a toddler when she began her career, she needed help learning her lines. Unable to read yet, her mother would read her lines to her while bathing and getting ready for bed. Shirley would answer the lines back as her mother set all 56 of her curls.
Her mother also read the entire script to Shirley. When she was taping “Baby Burlesque,” she would know, by heart, everyone’s lines. If someone said their line incorrectly during the shoot, Shirley would point it out. And she never forgot even one of her lines.
A Child Prodigy
Shirley Temple was more than just extremely talented, charismatic, and just plain adorable. She was a child prodigy. With an IQ of 155, she learned tap routines very quickly. A photographic memory helped her memorize lines, song lyrics, and dance routines.
Because she was so exceptional, people questioned her age, just like the Vatican who suspected she was a grown woman. Others, like novelist Graham Greene, thought she was a dwarf in disguise and spread those rumors.
She Learned From the Best
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was responsible for teaching tap dancing to Shirley Temple. She would learn the dance, not by watching, but by listening to the sound of his taps. She was six years old when she starred in “The Little Colonel” (1935) with Bojangles. They were the first interracial dance pair in a movie.
She said they held hands while she tapped along by listening to him. In the South, however, before civil rights, their hand-holding scenes were cut. She said there was a “kind of a magic” between them. The two adored each other and remained friends until he passed away.
Fox Studio Protected Shirley
Shirley Temple was an exceptional asset to Fox, and they guarded her ferociously. Afraid of kidnappers or other threats of the day, Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck personally hired security man John Griffith to watch over her. Griffith happened to be Zanuck’s childhood friend.
Zanuck also sheltered his young star inside of a roomy bungalow located right at the studio. No need to leave the lot. She had a playhouse, a garden with a picket fence, and a fairy-tale-themed living room. She also had a tree with a swing and a rabbit pen.
That Hagen Girl
Shirley Temple starred with Ronald Reagan, long before he was governor of California and even longer before he was president of the United States. When Temple came out with her autobiography, “Child Star,” in 1988, she spilled that Reagan, who played the leading man, was one of the best kissers.
The 1947 movie flopped and was forgotten about. In her book, she says it was one of the worst movies either of them had made.
A Contract for Baby Linda Susan?
On January 30, 1948, when Shirley Temple was still married to her first husband John Agar, their daughter Linda Susan was born. Shortly after her birth, O’Selznick Studios offered the baby a movie contract, sight unseen.
As you might expect, the former child star immediately turned down the offer to put her baby in movies. Dealing with studio bosses like David O’Selznick — whose mistreatment towards women was known and something we know Shirley fought off — further explains why she would never put her child in his movies.
An Early Feminist
Shirley Temple Black was the first woman to serve as White House chief of protocol when she was appointed in 1976. She remarked that she would be filling the shoes of many men before her and pointed out that she is proud to be the first woman in that role.
Before that, you may recall, she had advocated for women with breast cancer. In the end, despite the good she had done standing up for women, she did not want to be associated with the women’s lib movement, preferring to stay in step with her political party.
The Studio Demanded She Stay Silent
Soon after Linda Susan was born, when Shirley Temple was 21, she was voted Mother of the Year. Not much longer after that, she announced her divorce from John Agar. The studio, as pushy as always, told Temple not to announce the divorce.
The “Mother of the Year” title was such great publicity, that they urged her to be silent. Shirley laughed it off. She responded facetiously quipping that she at least had not been voted “wife of the year.”
As a child, Shirley Temple loved her slingshot. She was a tomboy. Every day after the shoot she would take off her frilly dress and change into play clothes, wearing jeans and a t-shirt so she could climb her tree.
That slingshot was her favorite toy. She carried it in her little bag everywhere she went and longed to finish shooting so she could transform into the real Tomboy-Temple at the end of every day.
Why Her Mom Never Left Her Side
Gertrude Temple was a dedicated mother and attended her daughter dutifully at every shoot. This, on top of setting her hair and reading the script to her. One day, however, Gertrude went off to run an errand, leaving her daughter alone on the film set.
When she returned, much to her dismay, she found Shirley had been crying. She was upset because the show’s director scared her. After that, Shirley’s mother decided that she would never leave her daughter alone at work again.
When Shirley Temple was 12 years old, she had another unwanted experience due to men in high places in showbiz. This time she was invited into the office of the producer of “Wizard of Oz.” Not knowing what to expect, she certainly did not expect what happened.
When she walked into his office, she found out he was an exhibitionist. Shocked to see a man with no clothes, Shirley burst out laughing uncontrollably. The producer became so enraged he repeatedly yelled at her to get out.
How Shirley Survived Child Stardom
Shirley Temple graduated from being a child star and went on to have a second career in government. Compared with almost every other child star, Temple thrived and lived a perfectly normal adult life with none of the drama or substance dependencies that we are used to hearing about.
Temple, herself, credited it to her relationship with her mother. She survived affronts from the public, such as a woman yanking on her hair to prove her curls were fake. Ouch! Temple took it in stride. Also, she had a strong disposition. Her husband Charles Black said she is stalwart in personality, nothing shook her.