Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Former Child Star" Shirley Temple Has Died, Aged 85

These days, when the phrase "former child star" conjures up images of the pathetic, the catatonic and the terminally effed up, it is refreshing to recall the career and life of Shirley Temple. Temple, who died surrounded by family at the age of 85, was the preternaturally talented moppet who, with her curls and her spunk, tap-danced her way into the hearts of Depression-era Americans. True, her Hollywood career was pretty much over by the time she hit puberty. But whereas today's "former child stars" tend to dissolve into a dissolute lifestyle of drugs and debauchery, which occasionally ends up in a trailer park--and/or in death, Shirley picked herself up, dusted off, and started all over again--as a wife and mother, and then as an American diplomat.

If you don't think that that's remarkable, try to imagine, say, Lindsay Lohan getting her crap together, being appointed an ambassador (to Ghana and then to Czechoslovakia), and going on to become the U.S. Chief of Protocol.

It is, quite simply, unimaginable.

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