AS LONG AS OUR COUNTRY HAS SHIRLEY TEMPLE, WE WILL BE ALL RIGHT: FDR said that during the Depression, and assuredly he was right. She was an icon, the first child star of the celluloid era, an honorary Oscar winner at the age of six, and an immortal before she reached puberty. As Jack Lemmon said during her Kennedy Center Honors tribute, she was "a child who will ever define the magic of the movie screen."
Watching her with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Bert Lahr in this 1938 number may give some sense of the talent and charisma she had, but even if you had never seen her work you still knew her by reputation—over thirty years after her peak, Cindy Brady still had dreams of being "the next Shirley Temple," and long after we are all gone there will remain a child's cocktail named in her honor. Her adult career as a diplomat, and as one of the first women to speak publicly about surviving breast cancer, only furthered the high regard in which so many held her. She passed away yesterday at the age of 85.