Shirley Temple Black took an accidental spill in the bathroom of her home in Woodside, Calif. last week and fractured her right wrist and arm. She said she’s in a cast from her fingers to the elbow.
I had phoned her to discuss a new book I’d just received, “Shirley Temple, A Pictorial History of the World’s Greatest Child Star” (Applause) by Rita Dubas. The coffee-table-sized, 250-page book is an amazing, pictorial history of her childhood and her films — to the age of 12.
Shirley said she had not received a copy — adding that she had not even known about the book. However, she said she knows the author, Dubas as “my number one fan — along with one in Amsterdam.” And while Shirley has (and had) no participation in the book, she told me, “I’m glad she (Dubas) did it.”
The Shirley Temple fans span the ages and generations with the DVD releases of her classics and the Shirley Temple doll collection which continues with other memorabilia collected by the ever-increasing, ageless ranks of fans.
Until her accident, Temple had been writing the second installment of her autobiography. The first was “Child Star,” The current one is, as yet, untitled — or, at least she did not want to reveal the title until it is finished and in the hands of the publisher (to be set).
It starts in Prague in 1968 where she had been our ambassador to the Czech Republic, having previously served in that capacity as well in Ghana, and previously a delegate to the 24th U.N. General Assembly. And earlier, chief of protocol at the White House.
This year, SAG awarded her its Lifetime Achievement award. The bungalow which was her dressing room/school on the 20th Century-Fox lot where she made her historic films, was dedicated as a child care center building in 2002. A life-sized bronze statue (by Nijel Binnis) of Shirley in the classic “Baby Take a Bow” pose was unveiled. It was Shirley’s first starring role — as the age of six. Rupert Murdoch officiated.