Credit: Public Domain

Good luck needs no explanation

Shirley Temple wasn’t simply a child star, but one of the stars of 1930s cinema. She famously said she’d stopped believing in Santa when she was six, after she’d been taken to visit him at a department store – and he’d asked for her autograph.

Shirley became famous at an age where most people don’t even know what they’re doing, making her film debut at the age of three. For someone so small, she had prodigious talent. She sang, dance and acted her socks off in dozens of hit films including Poor Little Rich Girl, The Little Princess and The Little Colonel.

With her trademark golden ringlets, she was a movie icon and a Shirley Temple doll was on the wish-list of many little girls around the world. She made a fortune for the movie studios, but never became rich on the back of her success.

“Sparkle, Shirley, sparkle!” he mother would urge, off-camera and little Shirley always did, later insisting that she’d always loved performing.

Although she loved what she did, Shirley was always more excited by the chance to attend school when she could, than appearing on a movie set. Then and in later life, the real world held more appeal than any land of make-believe.

Shirley first married age 17, and retired from acting in 1950, not long after her second marriage, to a US naval officer.

As a mother of three in her forties, Shirley Temple Black began a career as a politician and diplomat ultimately becoming US ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.

For Shirley Temple, lightning really had struck twice. “If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said.