Shirley Temple died today at the age of 85. The first and perhaps, in perspective, biggest child star, Temple’s success is credited with saving the Fox Studios during the depths of the depression. Although Temple’s undeniable talent mixed with precociousness made her the center of attention at the height of her fame, she worked with a number of heavy-hitting actors and directors over the course of her career.
Little Miss Marker (1934): Based on the Damon Runyon story, her co-star was Adolph Menjou, infamous for later ‘naming names’ for the House Un-American Activities Commission.
The Littlest Rebel (1935): Bill “Bojangles” Robinson performed with her more than once, here in the ‘Polly Wolly Doodle’ routine.
Wee Willie Winkie (1937): This John Ford film based on the Rudyard Kipling story was the one that prompted the litigatiously-disastrous (for its author) Graham Greene review of Temple’s acting style. It also featured future television ‘Joker’ Cesar Romero (who had also appeared with her in The Little Princess).
Since You Went Away (1944): Considered to be one of the best ‘Home Front’ WWII pictures, an older and no-longer superstar Temple holds her own with co-stars Claudette Colbert, Robert Walker, Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten.
I’ll Be Seeing You (1944): ‘Home Front’ again, Cotten again, and Ginger Rogers is the mother. Still good. The film is one of the first to deal with what would later be termed post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947): Now playing ‘high school’ roles, the precociousness remains as she hits on playboy Cary Grant. This scenario would be repeated in A Kiss For Corliss Archer (1949), with David Niven subbing for Grant.
Fort Apache (1948): Ford again directs, and John Wayne and Henry Fonda co-star in this classic western. Temple plays the teenage daughter of the dictatorial Fonda, who himself was playing against cast for one of the first times.
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