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.
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.
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?