When I was a little girl, I remember watching those Saturday morning movies they would show. Roy Rogers, with whom I was terribly in love! (Dale who?? ), tons of other westerns, and of course Shirley Temple movies. Yes, they were reruns, but I loved every one of them.
For those youngsters out there, she was a little girl that made the best singing and dancing movies starting in the late 1930’s. She had a head full of ringlet curls and was the cutest thing! She could sing up a storm and was a great dancer at a very early age. If you have never watched a Shirley Temple movie, you need to – just for the sheer enjoyment.
Here are a few clips from movies:
One site online, Collectors Weekly put it best:
“During the bleak years of the Great Depression, the lovable Shirley Temple became a symbol of happiness and hope for audiences around the world. In 1934, 20th Century Fox film songwriter Jay Gorney was taken with the dimpled, flaxen-haired star of a short film that preceded the feature at a local Los Angeles theater. As he was leaving, Gorney was surprised to recognize Temple and her family at the same theater, and soon the young actress was signing her first contract with Fox. By the end of the year, Temple would be featured in seven films, and would become the top-grossing box office star in the world.”
She is No. 18 on the American Film Institute‘s list of the greatest female American screen legends of all time, making her the highest-ranked living person on the list.
After her successes, Ideal approached the Temple family to make a doll. Sculptor Bernard Lipfert (a very famous doll sculptor) was assigned the task to come up with the mold for the doll and after 20 versions, the family finally agreed. Ideal then came out with the very first Shirley Temple doll in composition.
Since then, there have been many, many versions of the doll-different sizes, different mediums, all kinds of great dresses and costumes. I have a couple in my own collection as I LOVE them and probably will have more before I’m done.
Even though most of the dolls came out in the years before the mid 60’s, these dolls are still highly sought after and some of the earliest versions can sell for many thousands of dollars. She has that look that is timeless. I think that she will be collectible for a long time to come.
If you are interested in Shirley Temple dolls, there are quite a few books on the subject. Check out the list at Amazon.com
Here are a few more resources with info on Shirley Temple herself.
Here is a link to a site that has a really fascinating interview with sculptor Bernard Lipfert’s granddaughter. I have always loved his doll sculpts and this was an amazing story to read.
Websites with Shirley Temple doll information.
And our own Dr. Noreen even did an article on repairing a Shirley Temple doll.
Thanks for reading!