Photo of Shirley Temple Shirley Temple

The most popular star of the 1930s was also the most diminutive -- the dimpled, dancing dynamo Shirley Temple, who made more than 40 movies before reaching the ripe old age of 12.

Born April 23, 1928, in Santa Monica, Calif., Temple made her first film appearance in the two-reel comedy series Baby Burlesks (1931-33), in which she performed dead-on impressions of adult screen sirens such as Greta Garbo. A breakout performance in Stand Up and Cheer (1934) led to starring roles in a string of vehicles -- including Bright Eyes (1934), Curly Top (1935), The Little Colonel (1935) and Heidi (1937) -- showcasing Fox Pictures' tiny savior.

Despite her considerable talent and tremendous popularity as a child star, the public failed to embrace a mature Temple, who retired from films in 1950 and turned her attention to politics, serving as a U.S. ambassador during the '70s and '80s. She died Feb. 10, 2014.

Shirley Temple in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

1938 G

Shirley Temple tap dances with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in this upbeat musical comedy inspired by Kate Wiggins's novel. Temple plays Rebecca Winstead, whose scheming stepfather, Harry (William Demarest), leaves her on a farm in the care of her aunt (Helen Westley). Rebecca thrives, but after a talent scout sees potential in the lass, the curly-topped cutie becomes a radio star overnight. Trouble crops up, though, when Harry comes to reclaim her.

  • Shirley Temple in Fort Apache Fort Apache
  • Shirley Temple in Just Around the Corner Just Around the Corner
  • Shirley Temple in Captain January Captain January
  • Shirley Temple in The Little Princess The Little Princess
  • Shirley Temple in The Blue Bird The Blue Bird
  • Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel The Little Colonel
  • Shirley Temple in Dimples Dimples
  • Shirley Temple in Susannah of the Mounties Susannah of the Mounties
  • Shirley Temple in Baby Take a Bow Baby Take a Bow
  • Shirley Temple in Heidi Heidi
  • Shirley Temple in Little Miss Broadway Little Miss Broadway
  • Shirley Temple in Shirley Temple: Little Miss Marker Shirley Temple: Little Miss Marker
  • Shirley Temple in Stand Up and Cheer Stand Up and Cheer
  • Shirley Temple in Wee Willie Winkie Wee Willie Winkie
  • Shirley Temple in Winnie the Pooh / Babes in Toyland Winnie the Pooh / Babes in Toyland
  • Shirley Temple in Shirley Temple Festival Shirley Temple Festival
  • Shirley Temple in Pippi Longstocking / Kim Pippi Longstocking / Kim
  • Shirley Temple in The Land of Oz / The Reluctant Dragon The Land of Oz / The Reluctant Dragon
  • Shirley Temple in Terrible Clockman / House of Seven Gables Terrible Clockman / House of Seven Gables
  • Shirley Temple in The Princess and the Goblins / Madeline The Princess and the Goblins / Madeline