If you find yourself craving an ice-cold Shirley Temple with three cherries during the summer, you’re not alone. But how much do you know about Shirley Temple, the legendary child actress the bright red drink is named after?
Shirley was born in 1928 in Santa Monica, California. She was interested in the arts from a young age and loved to sing and dance. In 1931, her mother enrolled her in a dance school in Los Angeles.
A casting director observing one of her classes noticed her talent and offered her a contract to appear in short films in 1932.
After starring in a series of short films, Shirley quickly gained attention from major movie studios to star in feature films. The 1934 film Bright Eyes led to Shirley’s big break, and she quickly became one of Hollywood’s most famous young actresses.
That same year, she won a special Juvenile Academy Award for her performances.
Shirley’s often upbeat and optimistic performances often distracted Americans and provided some relief during hard times brought on by the Great Depression. Some of her other popular roles from the 1930s include Heidi Kramer in Heidi and Sara Crewe in A Little Princess.
Shirley was often underpaid during the height of her acting career, and her parents often had to battle for proper compensation legally. Her name eventually became a brand used to sell all sorts of merchandise, from clothing to sheet music for the popular songs she’d sing in films.
The famous mocktail named after Shirley was created for her by a bartender at Chasen’s restaurant in West Hollywood when she was little so she’d have something special to drink. Ironically, Shirley revealed in an interview later in life that the beverage was too sweet for her, and she wasn’t a fan of it!
As Shirley got older, her popularity in the film industry decreased. She starred in 29 films from ages three to 10 and 14 films from ages 14 to 21. She officially decided to retire from film in 1950 at 22.