Shirley Temple died of natural causes today at age 85. I only remember her movies because my grandmother loved watching them and would have them on when we visited. There was only one TV in a house in those days the custom (i.e. the belt) dictated that the owner of the house got to do what ever they wanted. I watched the Little Rascals, I love Lucy, and the Bob Newhart Show as a kid for the same reason. Thankfully I was allowed to go do something else when her other "stories" aka the soaps came on.
Ms. Temple was a childhood star, best remembered for being cute at a time when things were grim. As she grew up, she remained attractive but lost that charm that made her a big star. She never grew her audience as she grew older and so while she had one of the most recognizable celebrity names of her generation, she lost her acting career. She did what sensible young women did in those days, she got married, settled down and raised a family. Life wasn't perfect she divorced her first husband. The second time around she made it work and stayed married till "death us do part". Shirley wasn't perfect but she was successful outside of the movie studio and had both corporate and a small political career.
Contrast her to two other celebrities in the news recently. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, was found with the needle still in his arm. I don't know how his career would be classified, if it was up or down, either way he was unable to handle the same Hollywood stress as a teenage girl. The other is childhood star turned sluty attention whore Miley Cyrus. Shirley Temple had a more respectable method of hitting puberty than is common today, she got married at 17. It seems that she reserved her twerking for her husband. To my knowledge there are no Shirley Temple sex tapes or nude threesome photo's floating around out there.
I'm not canonizing Mrs. Temple. However she did seem to have a tad more dignity than the current generation of entertainers. I'm kinda glad grandma made me watch grainy black and white Saturday afternoon movies of a little girl tap dancing. I didn't know it at the time but I was seeing a touch of class.