Shirley Temple: Why a Google Doodle is celebrating the child actor today – and her most iconic films

Child actress Shirley Temple holding an FBC microphone. Undated photograph, ca. 1933-36.

Temple became the number one box office draw in the United States, before turning to a career as a diplomat as an adult

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Shirley Temple – Hollywood’s most famous ever child star.

As a child in the 1930s Temple became the number one box office draw in the United States, before turning to a career as a diplomat as an adult.

On this day in 2015, the Santa Monica History Museum opened “Love, Shirley Temple”, a special exhibit featuring a collection of her rare memorabilia.

Acting career

Temple was born in Santa Monica, California, in April 1928. She started dance classes when she was just three years old, and achieved international stardom when she was just six by starring in the 1934 film Bright Eyes.

This was the film that bore one of her most famous routines – “On the Good Ship Lollipop”.

Before she even reached double digits in age, Temple was one of the most popular actors in American cinema.

The Google Doodle celebrating Temple (Photo: Google)

She appeared in hits such as Curly Top and Heidi, and her face was all over merchandise from dolls to clothing.

She appeared in 29 films from the ages of three to 10, and won an Academy Award at the age of six. Her career slowed a little as she got older, and she retired from film in 1950 at the age of 22.

In 1958, Temple narrated the eponymous Shirley Temple’s Storybook, a children’s television series which adapted family-friendly stories. This was her final work in entertainment before turning to politics.


Temple began her diplomatic career in 1969, when she was appointed to represent the United States at a session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Her career in politics included her dedicated environmentalism, representing the US in 1972 at the UN Conference on the Human Environment.

Temple went on to be named US ambassador to Ghana and to Czechoslovakia, and also served as Chief of Protocol of the United States.

She was appointed an Honorary Foreign Service Officer in 1988.

In 2006, the Screen Actors Guild presented Temple with its Lifetime Achievement Award, the organisation’s highest honour.

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