Shirley Temple Black dies at her home in Woodside

Shirley Temple Black died Monday night at her home in Woodside. She was 85.

Ms. Black, considered the most popular movie child star of all time, lived in Woodside for 46 years.

She was surrounded by family members on Monday night, publicist Cheryl Kagan said.

"We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and adored wife for fifty-five year of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black," the family said in a statement.

The family would not disclose Ms. Black's cause of death.

She started her acting career at age 3 and starred in such hits as "Stand Up and Cheer" and "The Little Colonel." She ruled the box office in the 1930s.

After marrying in 1950 and leaving her Hollywood career behind, she lived in Atherton and Woodside for much of her life.

She met Charles Alden Black in 1950 when she was vacationing in Honolulu. A party was given in her honor and Mr. Black, a handsome young bachelor, was invited.

He surfed every night after work and told the hostess he wouldn't come to the party if the surf was up. "We would never have met if the surfing was good that day," Ms. Black said. The couple was married later that year at his parents' Monterey ranch.

Mr. Black, an internationally recognized marine expert, died Aug. 4, 2005. They were married for 55 years and had three children, a son Charles Jr. and daughters Lori and Susan.

After retiring from her film career at age 21, Shirley Temple Black became active in politics and held several diplomatic posts. She was ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the collapse of the communist regime there in 1989.

In 1967, Pete McCloskey beat Shirley Temple Black and nine other candidates to win a seat in Congress.

Woodsiders would see her in town, and ordinary moments became memorable. Thalia Lubin recalls saying hello to her a couple of times in Roberts Market in the checkout line. "There she was bagging her own groceries."

George Roberts, the owner of Roberts Market in Woodside said: "She just was a very down-to-earth person, not like a celebrity. It was just a joy to know her. She was just like the gal next door. ... It's been years since we've seen her."

Shirley Temple Black website.

● Charles Black obituary Aug. 10, 2005


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ronnie
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 11, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Very sorry to hear that. I had no idea she lived locally. What an amazing life!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Shirley Temple Black was a wonderful actress! I can't help but watch films like A LITTLE PRINCESS and HEIDI and feel very warm inside. I saw them in Mexico (they were dubbed into Spanish) while I was a child. I read somewhere that, during the Great Depression, President Roosevelt said of her, "For just 15 cents, an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles."

I am happy to hear of the good memories that local residents have of her. Sometimes, it seems like the things that made America so great for so long are rapidly changing. In a world where society makes "stars" out of people performing immorally on stage or where young stars flood the newspapers for all that they do wrong, it is great to know that a former child star can grow up and do something wonderful with her life.

RIP Shirley Temple Black!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nederlander
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 11, 2014 at 4:44 pm

I grew up with her movies, and admired her efforts as a politician in a time when women were so limited in what they were allowed to do.

She lived a good life, never let her successes go to her head, and retired well.

Rest well, old friend.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Local mom
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 12, 2014 at 3:07 am

A class act, from start to finish.

Condolences to her family!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by businessdecision
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2014 at 7:16 am

Sad to hear this news.
I had thought it would have been a bigger news item than this.
I would nevertheless hope that people who didn't know her work would look into what they've missed--something very special.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 13, 2014 at 8:40 am

Advertising here is against terms of use, but some of her films may be shown on the big screen in a local theatre this weekend.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Spring food and drink goings on
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 2,324 views

Couple’s Strife: 3 Tools for a Happier Relationship
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,145 views

In the company of mice
By Sally Torbey | 5 comments | 1,131 views

The Sad Family Photo
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 950 views

Frustrated with arguments on the parcel tax
By Douglas Moran | 26 comments | 922 views