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Entertainment
Shirley Temple dies at 85Shirley Temple, the child star to end all child stars - a box office sensation during one of the great ages of film and an inspiration to millions during the Depression - died Monday evening at her home in Woodside. A little engine of energy, compassion and outreach, Ms. Temple was a preternatural dynamo, not a mere child star, but a sensation - and not just a sensation, but a huge part of America's hopeful narrative during a dark, difficult time. Enter Production CodeA month after the release of Ms. Temple's breakthrough in "Little Miss Marker" (1934), the Production Code cleared the field of all sophisticated entertainment. This little miracle, this pint-size Mother Teresa in tap shoes, really did seem to be joyous, a fountain of happy childhood. Born in Santa Monica, Ms. Temple was 3 when she debuted in 1932's "Baby Burlesks," a series of short films in which tiny performers parodied grown-up movies, sometimes with risque results. In the latter two, she teamed with the great dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, and her dance with him up the steps in "The Littlest Colonel" - at a time when interracial teamings were unheard of in Hollywood - became a landmark in the history of film dance. There was a proposal to have her play Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" - Dorothy, after all, was supposed to be a little girl - but, in a happy accident of film history, 20th Century Fox chief Darryl Zanuck refused to lend her out and Judy Garland landed the role. Ran for office and lostIn 1967, she made an unsuccessful bid as a Republican candidate for Congress. Like President Ronald Reagan, she considered her background in entertainment an asset to her political career. In 2006, she received the lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild: I have one piece of advice for those of you who want to receive the lifetime achievement award. [...] she did, winning a special Academy Award in 1935, before she turned 7, for her "outstanding contribution to screen entertainment" in 1934.
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