alt.obituaries Memorial Deadpool
est. 2005
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Shirley Temple

The appeal of Shirley Temple, child star of such 1930s Hollywood film vehicles as Bright EyesCurly Top, and Heidi, waned rapidly when she reached puberty. She forged a successful second career as politician and diplomat, married and buried two husbands, became U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, and survived breast cancer by forty years. But she was lucky to escape Hollywood unscathed. Watch any YouTube clip—e.g., "The Good Ship Lollipop." What was going on?

The novelist Graham Greene got the subtext immediately, and in 1938 accused the studio bosses of “procuring Shirley Temple for immoral purposes” and “middle-aged men and clergymen” of getting off on her underage sexuality. He was successfully sued for his troubles by 20th Century Fox, who managed to convince a judge that he was libelling the actress rather than her minders. But he was right. The middle-aged men saw it then. We can all see it now.

Shirley Temple’s youthful flirting
Made her popular with perverts.
Now we find it too disturbing
Looking up her miniskirts.

To Graham Greene the films were loathsome
But the judge refused his claim,
Thought they were entirely wholesome.
Now he’d hang his head in shame.

But she escaped from prurient bosses,
Outlived two husbands, even cancer,
Made a career of political causes,
Topping it off as U.S. ambassador.

--Jim Thornton

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