I still remember the night that Shirley Temple's cute little girl image was messed with, for me. It was at the 2006 SAG Awards, when she won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Until that night, my only mental image of the actress was the one that everyone remembers when they think of her name; that cherub faced little girl with the curly locks and the devilishly adorable smile. When Temple took the stage, a strange feeling came over me. She was no longer this little girl, immortalized in celluloid. She was a real woman; a human being with a husband and children and a life outside of my entertainment.
I called it when Uncle Phil died; but this year is going to SUCK.
Last Monday was tragic, waking up to the death of one of my beloved actors Philip Seymour Hoffman. Finding out that the same day (Sunday, February 2nd), Maximilian Schell also died was a shock and further impressed the impending nature of this year. It's ONLY February! Now, to wake up just a week later to find out that Shirley Temple has passed at the age of 85...I just feel another awful week coming on. I just hate starting my days like this. I haven't even had my first cup of coffee yet!
Shirley Temple will always be one of the most beloved icons in cinema, a presence in film that was undeniable and unforgettable. Snuggling on the couch to watch classic Temple films with my two daughters is such a beautiful affair for me as a father, and now these films will carry the sting of her death but hopefully will be emboldened by the impact of her legacy.
There is a deeper pain that comes with the passing of this legend, at least in our home, and that makes this news all the more upsetting. My eldest daughter was blessed with a spunky personality, a love of entertaining and a beautiful set of curls that drew comparisons to Temple. Her great grandmother, my wife's grandmother, would always call my daughter 'Little Temple' and they had a very close relationship. Sadly, my wife's grandmother passed away two years ago, and this was really hard on my daughter. This morning has only brought back memories of two very special women and I have a feeling is going to be a tough one for my little girl to hear about.
Maybe I just won't tell her.
A sad day indeed, my heart and prayers go out to her surviving family members, especially her children.