Below are some facts about Shirley, meant not only for people doing school projects, but for every fan.

1. Shirley's hair wasn't actually curly. Her mother would put 56 pin curls in her hair every day, and on Sunday she would give her hair a vinegar rinse, while reading The Wizard of Oz. Shirley wasn't allowed to swim in their pool or at the beach, because her curls would flatten out.
2. The Wizard of Oz was one of Shirley's favorite book growing up- She really wanted to play Dorothy when she heard it was going to become a movie.
3. Shirley later married John Agar, a young man in the Army, when she was sixteen. They were married several years, with him dishonest to her, and divorced. John Agar later became Mr Clean, and went on to several western movies with John Wayne.
4. At one point during their marriage, John Agar became involved in films (even though he said he never would when they first married) when Shirley was trying to build up her career again, and he had more fan clubs than she had at the time.
5. Two weeks after their marriage, immediately after their honeymoon, Shirley and John went out to a dinner party. Instead of dancing with Shirley all night, however, he danced with a tall silm blonde and got quite drunk. Later on in their marriage John would be out all night, drunk, visiting bars. But on their way back home that night, Shirley coolly stated, "You know the problem with women like that is that they don't have any thing up here (pointing to her head), just down here (gesturing down)."
6. Shirley loved Pekingese. In fact, many pictures taken at her home include a Pekingese. When her first dog died when she was getting too old for show business, she mourned for him, but several months later she got another Pekingese. However, the second dog was never the same to her emotionally.
7. Shirley Temple was very close to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. They met shooting The Little Colonel. One year, for her birthday, she had a lot of kid's over, none of them she knew, but they were all kids with a Fox studio contract. Needless to say, she didn't have much fun for her party, but afterwards Bill took her to a back lot and presented her with a small red children's car. Shirley drove all around the studio with Bill hanging on the back.
8. Because of her popularity, Shirley's mother Gertrude kept a small blanket in the back of the car that she would throw over her daughter so that their car wouldn't get mobbed as they drove into the studio.
9. When Shirley was four, she auditioned for her first movie, Stand Up And Cheer. But as she and her mother ran toward the studio's back door, Shirley tripped and fell on her face, causing her forehead to bleed. Panicking, her mother took one of her curls and curled it into a spit curl, which she placed directly over the cut.
9. During her popularity, Shirley never had on any makeup in her films. Nearly every time she had a new makeup artist, the artist would make the mistake of applying blush. This would cause a sunburned look on Shirley's fair skin.
10. Shirley's mother, Gertrude, had had several boy's before reading a magazine article stating how much child star's make. Since the family was poor, it gave her an idea. Though she hadn't had a child in twelve years, Gertrude decided to have a little girl. When her husband went to the doctor's, the doctor told him they would most like have a girl if he had his tonsils removed. So he did, but they grew back, only to be removed again.
11. Just before she had to put her handprints at Grauman's Chinese Theater, she tripped, knocked one of her front teeth and it fell out. In front of the large crowd she was unable to tell anyone about the huge gap in her smile. Like a true professional, she placed the tooth discreetly in her pocket before giving a huge beaming smile for the cameras - her lips tightly pressed together.
New! 12. During many of Shirley's films, a baby tooth would be lost. As we all know, most of her scenes involved a large, toothy smile, and if a tooth was missing it would make a laughingstock of the film. Every time a tooth was lost, Shirley would put on a disguise and her mother would take her to a dentist, who would make a mold of a tooth and place it in her mouth.
For more information, read Shirley Temple Black's autobiography, Child Star.
-Callista Loveday
Have any facts you'd like to contribute? Feel free to email me by clicking on my name above.
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