Shirley Temple’s Secret Autobiography Shines A Light On Her Troubled Career

Shirley Temple dazzled audiences around the world with her singing and dancing, but behind the scenes life as a child star was anything but glamorous.

Temple already set the record straight in her 1988 autobiography Child Star, but a new second volume to her best-seller, written before her death in 2014, promises even more details about her career.

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Temple’s son, Charles Black Jr., revealed his mother wrote a sequel to Child Star focusing on her adult life as a diplomat, but movie fans are hoping to learn even more about Temple’s film career when the book is released later this year.


The actress, who wrote that “biographies of me have usually been compiled from old newspaper clips [and] untruthful publicity stories,” set out to reveal what life was really like on the set of her films. And it wasn’t pretty.

“Being a starlet was difficult, and I was a starlet from three-and-a-half to five years of age,” she explained.


Temple remembered that she and other child actors were put in “the box” when they misbehaved. The time-out area was a sound department box with a chilly block of ice dumped inside.

“[I was] in the dark with the door closed. I got a lot of earaches, styes, a lot of problems from it. The lesson was time is money. And it’s work, not play,” Temple wrote.

Even as an adult, Temple’s childhood in Hollywood came back to bite her in a surprising way.

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