She is considered to be the greatest child actor of all time, becoming the top box office draw between 1935 and 1938, a feat no other child star has come close to eclipsing. She beat out top adult draws such as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford. She is even credited with saving 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy with hits such as Curly Top and Littlest Rebel, and even had a drink named after her, made of ginger ale and grenadine, topped with a maraschino cherry.
She continued to work throughout the 1930s and 1940s and, even though she blossomed into a beautiful young woman, she retired from acting at the age of 22 in 1950, the same year she married her husband of 55 years, Charles Alden Black. She returned to the industry in 1958 with the anthology series Shirley Temple's Storybook, which ran on NBC from 1958 to 1961. She later became active in politics and held a number of diplomatic posts. She was appointed as the U.S. ambassador to Ghana in 1974, and later as the U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia, during Communism's collapse in 1989.Read More