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Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
No other child star in the history of popular entertainment enjoyed so much fame and renown as Shirley Temple -- by the tender age of six, she was already among the biggest celebrities in the world. Born April 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, California, she began taking dance classes at three, which led to her discovery by Hollywood in 1932; initially, she was tapped for a new series of children's films called "Baby Burlesks," parodies of adult features of the era designed to capitalize on the massive success of Hal Roach's Our Gang shorts. Temple soon enjoyed a number of bit parts in minor features before her breakthrough performance singing "Baby Take a Bow" in the 1934 musical Stand Up and Cheer poised her on the brink of stardom; while her skills as a singer and dancer were already remarkable, her gifts as an actress were ultimately her greatest drawing card, and she connected with audiences on a deeply emotional level rivaled only by a handful of the era's biggest adult performers.
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