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carole lombard 02

A legendary last link leaves us: RIP Shirley Temple Black

Posted by vp19 on 2014.02.11 at 22:11
Current mood: thankfulthankful
carole lombard now and forever 06c

An era of sorts ended Monday with the passing of Shirley Temple Black at age 85. Shown above with Carole Lombard in 1934's "Now And Forever," Temple -- then six -- was the last surviving co-star of a Lombard film. (A few bit players still may be with us.)

carole lombard now and forever stars large

"Now And Forever," which also starred Gary Cooper, isn't your formula Shirley Temple vehicle...perhaps because at the time it was made (the summer of 1934), such a thing didn't exist. That would come later, as 20th Century-Fox chief Darryl F. Zanuck made Shirley the studio's meal ticket (which it needed after the death of Will Rogers in August 1935) with musicals and other uplifting fare. In contrast, this was a drama shot at Paramount, where she had starred in "Little Miss Marker" earlier that year. (One of her co-stars was Dorothy Dell, who again was to work with her in "Now And Forever," but Dell died in an automobile accident in June and Lombard was assigned the role.) Cooper plays a confidence man, Temple his daughter and Carole plays his accomplice, whom Gary falls in love with. She eventually persuades Coop to change his ways for the sake of his little girl.

carole lombard now and forever 11a

Lombard, a Los Angeles resident of 20 years in 1934, tended to be a skeptic where child stars were concerned; she had seen too many parents come to Hollywood and live vicariously through their children. (Her own mother, Elizabeth Peters, made certain Jane Alice was sufficiently educated before she pursued a career in films. Once her daughter did that and soon became Carole Lombard, mom gave her sufficient space.) But Carole soon saw that Shirley was a welcome exception -- knowledgeable and professional beyond her years, precocious without being cloying. In turn, Temple liked Lombard for her easygoing manner and that she didn't patronize her.

A mutual admiration society formed, and while they never teamed up on film again, they were at times seen together in public, such as at this early 1941 benefit for Greek war relief:

carole lombard clark gable 117ab

Note the reference to Shirley's "Metro contract"; Fox declined to renew it the year before, after her later films proved disappointing at the box office (she had been the industry's number-one attraction from 1935 to 1938). There were fears that growing out of childhood would spell disaster for her career, as this late '30s cartoon attests:

shirley temple cartoon 00b

And while the '40s Temple was nowhere as popular as she'd been in the '30s, she made quite a few good movies in that decade, making the transition from star to character actress in films such as "Since You Went Away," "The Bachelor And The Bobby Soxer" and "Fort Apache." By the end of the decade, at age 21, she left films, though she moved to TV in the late '50s to host (and occasionally act in) an anthology show of children's classics. Then an entirely new career beckoned -- diplomacy.

She was part of the U.S. United Nations delegation for several years, then followed that up by serving as ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. But just as she did as an actress, she did her homework and won plaudits -- not easy when you're carrying the ghost of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm in people's perceptions. She moved to northern California, raised a family and aside from her diplomatic and political work stayed out of the limelight.

Turner Classic Movies in in the midst of its "31 Days of Oscar," but announced Tuesday that it will air eight of her films Sunday, March 9. Here's the schedule (all times Eastern):

* 4:30 p.m. – Heidi (1937)
* 6:15 p.m. – Stowaway (1936)
* 8 p.m. – Bright Eyes (1934)
* 9:30 p.m. – The Little Princess (1939)
* 11:15 p.m. – I'll Be Seeing You (1944)
* 12:45 a.m. – The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (1947)
* 2:30 a.m. – A Kiss For Corliss (1949)
* 4:15 a.m. – That Hagen Girl (1947)

It's a nice way to honor the "little princess" of Hollywood.

shirley temple little princess 00

Comments:


cinemafan2 at 2014-02-13 01:40 (UTC) (Link)

Carole and Shirley Temple

Carole has gained the reputation as thoroughly blue in her speech patterns. Two people who disputed that are Shirley Temple and Carole's older brother Fred. Temple said she never heard a blue comment coming out of Lombard during making the film "Now and Forever". So apparently Lombard could watch her tongue around children. And Fred said that while she could swear with the best of them her expletives were dramatic and targeted. You never heard blue language coming out of Carole Lombard's mouth when she was a hostess at a dinner table.
vp19
vp19 at 2014-02-13 04:19 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Carole and Shirley Temple

Lombard erroneously has been perceived as using profanity wantonly, which certainly wasn't the case. The "dramatic and targeted" Fred Peters referred to essentially fell into two groups: men (often superiors in the industry) who either were inappropriately touching her or trying to take advantage of her sexually (the prime reason she asked her brothers to teach her such a vocabulary), or co-workers who used blue language whom she felt comfortable with. Carole may have used some of the "George Carlin seven" in informal talk with men and women she knew well, but she certainly avoided such language with both children and strangers.
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