S E C T I O N
Shirley Temple, who started her acting career at age 3, ruled the movie box office in the 1930s.
hirley Temple Black was much more than an internationally known child star who ruled the movie box office in the 1930s. She was a Woodside neighbor for more than 50 years and was active in local community service prior to embarking on a long diplomatic career. “Shirley Temple Black lived in my neighborhood, just up the hill from me,” said Councilwoman Anne Kasten during a tribute for Ms. Black at the Woodside Town Council meeting on Feb. 11, the day after Ms. Black died at age 85. “When she came to our gatherings (in the neighborhood), everyone stood up a little bit straighter and behaved themselves a little better.” Ms. Kasten pointed to Ms. Black’s many achievements, which included serving as president of the Commonwealth Club of California and later as ambassador to Czechoslovakia when the Soviet Union broke up. “She handled it with fabulous diplomacy and grace. I know she has
a star After she left Hollywood, Shirely Temple Black shined as diplomat, active community member By Almanac Staff
inspired a lot of women.” In 1972, Ms. Black openly shared the news of her mastectomy, which led to a broader public discussion of breast cancer and its early detection and treatment. “When she started taking that on … that takes a lot of dignity and courage and tenacity,” Ms. Kasten
said. “She wasn’t just an entertainer or a politician. She was a human being who cared about other people.” “I feel like we’ve really lost a marker in my neighborhood and we were extremely lucky to have her living here.” Surrounded by family members,
Ms. Black died peacefully at home of natural causes, the family said. “We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and adored wife for fifty-five years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black,” the family said in a statement. Shirley Temple started her acting career at age 3 and starred in such hits as “Stand Up and Cheer” and “The Little Colonel.” She had met Mr. Black in 1950 when she was vacationing in Honolulu. A party was given in her honor and Mr. Black, a handsome young bachelor, was invited. He surfed every night after work and told the hostess he wouldn’t come to the party if the surf was up. “We would never have met if the surfing was good that day,” Ms. Black said. The couple was married See page 19
February 19, 2014 N TheAlmanacOnline.com N The Almanac N 17
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More than a star continued from page 17
later that year at his parents’ Monterey ranch. After marrying and leaving her Hollywood career behind at age 21, she and her husband settled in Atherton in 1954 and moved to Woodside in 1961. Mr. Black, an internationally recognized marine expert, died Aug. 4, 2005. They had two children, Charles Jr. and Lori. Susan Falaschi is Ms. Black’s daughter by a previous marriage. During the years her children were small, Ms. Black plunged into community activities. She was a Pink Lady at Stanford Hospital, a saleswoman at Allied Arts, and a receptionist for the Children’s Convalescent Hospital — now the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital — at Stanford. She served on seven boards of community organizations. She also was an usher for productions of the Peninsula Children’s Theater. “I never got to act,” she told Almanac writer Marion Softky in a 1995 interview. “It was a wonderful way to get to know people in the community and really make good friends,” she said. What got her back into the public arena was a speech she gave to 50,000 people in a Texas arena. “I told them, ‘Just don’t sit on the stands; get down on the field and join the game,’” she said. “I guess I talked myself into it.” In 1967, she entered a field of 13 candidates to replace Congressman J. Arthur Younger after he died in office. She lost to fellow Republican Pete McCloskey. In 1969, President Nixon appointed her as a delegate to the 24th General Assembly of the United Nations. Later she held other UN and international posts. She was ambassador to Ghana, was chief of protocol for the United States, and during the Reagan administration, trained ambassadors and their spouses