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Shirley Temple with her bright blue eyes and curly top brought her magical presence to the stage in the 1930s during the Great Depression of America when the country needed her most She was a household name throughout the nation and the world On April 23 1928 she was born in California to a banker and housewife in a typical American family home On screen Shirley Temple had the wondrous ability to radiate sheer happiness she was everything Depression-era parents wanted their children to be She was the star of more that forty motion pictures and even president Theodore Roosevelt praised her infectious optimism She began as a contract player for a movie studio Baby Burlesque but less that one year later she graduated to a full-blown star with one picture Stand Up and Cheer which was released in 1934 Before her twelfth birthday she received a special Academy Award for her performance in Bright Eyes and became a unique symbol for American movies and a joyous tonic for a nation greatly troubled by the Great Depression Bright Eyes was the opportunity that gave Shirley a full dimensional character to demonstrate her dramatic gifts alongside her sing-and-dance abilities It solidified the formula that would serve her well in future roles ragamuffin clothes parents in peril boundless optimism and the unca nny ability to melt the hardest of adult hearts It also introduced the famous song On the Good Ship Lollipop that sold half a million copies In 1935 Fox Studios became 20th Century Fox and Daryl Zanuck made Shirley his top priority During this one year she made four of her most famous movies with the help of the greatest talent in the business A most unlikely couple built of Shirley Temple and the great Bill Bojangles Robinson They were an amazing duo even though the times did not yet accept any affectionate physical contact between blacks and whites Together they showed the world
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