Feb 12

Shirley Temple, RIP

As most of you are aware, Shirley Temple, at age 85, passed away on Monday, February 10. My daughter, Margery Plotkin, encouraged me to write a bit about her. Margery researched the multitude of ways that Ms. Temple has served as a Muse for so many of us.  Herein, I share Margery’s findings:

Was the first actress to participate in an interracial dance team in the movies; that was not cut from the film, as others were at the time, when shown in theaters in the South.

Was first prominent show business woman to make her breast cancer and mastectomy public. In 1972, Temple was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following the operation, she announced this via broadcast media, and a February 1973 article in McCall’s.

Was appointed by Presidents of both parties to prestigious national and international positions:

Was appointed Representative to the 24th United Nations General Assembly by President Richard M. Nixon (September – December 1969).

Was appointed United States Ambassador to Ghana (December 6, 1974 – July 13, 1976) by President Gerald R. Ford.

Was appointed first female Chief of Protocol of the United States (July 1, 1976 – January 21, 1977), and in charge of arrangements for President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration and inaugural ball.

Was appointed the United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia (August 23, 1989 – July 12, 1992), by President George H. W. Bush.

Served on numerous boards of directors including The Walt Disney Company, Del Monte, Bank of America, the Bank of California, BANCAL Tri-State, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, the United States Commission for UNESCO, the United Nations Association, and the National Wildlife Federation.

On September 11, 2002 (at the age of 73),  a life-size bronze statue of the child Temple by sculptor Nijel Binns was erected on the Fox Studio lot.

Was presented, in 2006, with a SAG Life Achievement Award.


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