The Two Worlds of Shirley Temple: Hollywood and Diplomacy

Mary Sage of Ontario, Calif., asks: "Could you please tell us whatever happened to Shirley Temple?"

SHE is even known to people who have never seen a Shirley Temple movie. And 25 years after Shirley Temple tap-danced away from Hollywood, her resume still reads like a syllabus for success.

Reams of newsprint have praised the elfin star. This dainty object of the world's love one-upped adult stars, including Gary Cooper and Clark Gable, in popularity and pay.

Her later career is also impressive. In 1988, Shirley Temple Black was appointed Honorary Foreign Service Officer of the United States, the only person with that rank.

"I've equally enjoyed my 25 years of public service," says Mrs. Black, whose last assignment was ambassador to the Czech Republic (1989 to 1992).

"I'm two years into writing my second book," says Black. It will reminiscence on her diplomatic career, including being ambassador to Ghana (1974 to 1977). Her first book, "A Child's Story," was eight years in the writing. And this might take just as long, she says.

In her most famous movie, "Heidi," she said: "Dear God please make every little boy and girl in the world as happy as I am." Now Black, who lives in Woodside, Calif., with her husband of 46 years, Charles Black, says she is worried about the lack of civility in the world. "People should show more kindness and understanding."

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