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Critical Moments

No screen player from Hollywood has earned in so short a time the popularity that is now being accorded to little Shirley Temple, Fox Film’s juvenile star. Interest in this young miss has reached even the confines of this column and the following biographical note is the result of a sincere request for information about this child actress.

Shirley Temple . . .a pound per inch of truth and beauty . . . weighs 43 and is that tall . . . doesn’t go to school but has the best memory for lines on the Fox lot . . . her mother read her part in the forthcoming “Baby Take a Bow” twice for her, she listened attentively and then did it letter-perfect through the whole first rehearsal.

Likes three things better than anything in the world, her parents, Jimmy Dunn, the actor, and ice cream with gravy on it . . . by gravy she means chocolate syrup . . . hasn’t been ill a day in her five years of life . . . her worst habit is taking a stroll off the lot at the most inappropriate moments . . . her best habit is acting naturally, unconscious of cameras or the art of make-believe.

CAN’T READ

She doesn’t know how to read and yet knows most of the lines of every actor on the set, mumbling them while they go through them to herself . . . many a cue has been taken from her lips . . . Has the curliest golden head of hair in Hollywood and most of the big lady stars at her feet . . . her father is a Santa Monica businessman. She was born in 1929 when the depression set in, has never been an extra, has a bank account of her own, got a nickel from her father a few Sundays ago and came back home to tell her mother that the preacher let her into the church she passed free of charge. . . . She displayed the nickel, intact.

Shirley’s first picture, as erroneously believed by most people, was not “Stand Up and Cheer!” . . . She was in Educational Comedies since she was three. . . . Credit for discovering her is slowly becoming a national problem to determine. . . . But it is generally agreed that Charles La Monte, director at Educational Pictures, first saw her possibilities and put her into the “Frolics of Youth” series, with a baby boy leading “man” named George Smith. . . . Then Jay Gorney happened to see her in one of these pictures, met her mother and Shirley in the lobby of the theatre previewing the film, and asked Mrs. Temple to see the casting director on the Fox lot in the morning . . . which brought Shirley into the musical production “Stand Up and Cheer!” . . .

NO THEATRICAL BACKGROUND

The Temple family admits that Shirley is the first of their kin on both sides ever to enter the realm of the theatre . . . They hope that Shirley will remain unspoiled and they have done a heroic job in keeping her so thus far. . . . Whenever any extra stimulus is needed to pep up the child for a particularly enervating scene, Mrs. Temple simply says “Now sparkle, Shirley, sparkle” and the child star meets the occasion with more than her share of enthusiasm. . . . That particular brand of enthusiasm and its naive simplicity is fast becoming something of a phenomenon on the West Coast.

LIKES OWN PICTURES

Shirley has a dimple on both cheeks, although the one on the right cheek shows to better advantage in the pictures. . . . Her hazel eyes and long golden curls will go well with a set of school books when she starts going to school for the first time in September. . . . She has all of her baby teeth, having started getting them when she was thirteen months. . . . Doesn’t mind going to bed at all and is promptly tucked in at 8 every evening. . . . Her mother likes to go over her new lines for the morning rehearsal just before she goes to sleep. . . . When she does, the child gets up, goes to the lot and is perfect in them.

Shirley wears no makeup whatsoever, her plump pink cheeks making it needless. She applauded strenuously when she saw the preview of “Stand Up and Cheer!”. . . Before that she never saw a feature length picture excepting one other. . . . That was “Skippy,” which was similarly approved. . . . She gets loads of fan mail but her parents do not read any of the letters to her. . . . Because nine out of ten have the phrase “I think you are the most beautiful baby in the world” in it. . . . And smart Ma and Pa Temple want everyone but Shirley to feel that way.

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