shirley temple christmas

In the January 1935 issue of Hollywood magazine, they printed “Santa’s book” of good and bad points for film stars. So who’s getting what they wanted for Christmas and who is getting coal?


Good Points: For giving is It Happened One Night. Being always thoughtful of others. When a friend had no place to keep her dog, he gave it a home on his ranch.

Bad Points: Balks at picture assignments with women stars. Drives studio frantic by disappearing between pictures, when he is wanted for story conferences.

Gifts: More dogs to take care of



Good Points: Proved she could act in Twentieth Century. Came back to start Repeal like a good trouper, though still suffering from the shock of Russ Colombo’s death.

Bad Points: Still cusses when excited. But improving. Gets mad at stupid producers who want her to make stupid pictures, and makes one now and then in spite of herself. Put your foot down, Carole!

Gifts: A real vacation


Good Points: Kept her head and won respect by not rushing into another marriage. Has stuck by her career. Left off that extra splash of lipstick this year. Always gives us good pictures.

Bad Points: Suspicion that she has gone a bit coo-coo on cars. That big white limousine, and now that all white, satin upholstered roadster. Joan! How could you? And that horn can be be heard fully three miles!

Gifts: A plain Ford


Good Points: Well, you finally finished that book, Jean! I like you to stick to things that way. Add good point; not letting personal problems sour her. Made her mother happy with beautiful room in new home. Lifted Bill Powell out of the dumps.

Bad Points: O, hum, with 115 pounds distributed like that, what are Jean’s bad points? Hasn’t sent the editor a copy of “Today is Tonight,” her first book. Maybe he’ll find one in his stocking!

Gifts: A letter from every fan


Good Points: Refuses to be spoiled by compliments. Is Mrs. Santa Claus’ favorite actress. Can now spell her name and count. Invited all Hollywood (almost) to her birthday party.

Bad Points: Shirley, you mustn’t ask for so much gum–I heard you! After all, Mama isn’t made of gum! But I guess you’ve been a very good girl.

Gifts: Carton of gum


Good Points: When her studio make-up woman gave a little house-warming, Marlene came to the party and brought a gift. Keeps democratic; always lunches at Paramount cafe with common horde.

Bad Points: Caused great anguish and disappointment on return from Europe with trunks and trunks of gorgeous clothes–and then refused to appear in them, though all Hollywood waited in expectation, The meanie!

Gifts: Another director


Good Points: Now there is a fine lad; hope he continues to be a good boy, and gives us more like She Loves Me Not. Add two more good points–the twins. (Give Mrs. Crosby some credit there).

Bad Points: Got put in the doghouse during the making of We’re Not Dressing for keeping Director Taurog out all night. He and Carole Lombard tied a rope to the still man’s camera and hoisted it to the roof. Makes Paramount worry by putting on weight.

Gifts: Triplets!


Good Points: The Thin Man–worth a dozen good marks. Got our favorite child, Jean Harlow, out of the dumps. Built a new home with a swimming pool for his nine-year-old boy.

Bad Points: Can’t find any black marks to chalk down against Bill. He has a good word for everybody, and everybody has a good word for him.

Gifts: Monogrammed hankies and scarf.


Good Points: For earning and keeping the admiration of all fans. Because her form has nothing but good points. For giving is her share of It Happened One Night.

Bad Points: Hates to take stills and is always trying to get out of it. Takes too many people’s advice and worries too much about meaningless criticisms if trivial matters.

Gifts: That long planned trip to Europe


Good Points: For never forgetting a friend.

Bad Points: That fist fight at the Brown Derby.

Gift: A night club


Good Points: Settling down to being a good husband. Never kicks about a picture role. Let Shirley steal one picture and gave her a present for it!

Bad Points: Has terrible memory or else a convienent forgetter. Spoiled one scene by putting on wrong tie and forgetting where the right one had been tossed.

Gift: A rifle


Good Points: For just being the most fascinating star in pictures. For doing The Painted Veil. For creeping out of her shell a bit.

Bad Points: That inhuman hermit complex. Refusing to sign a new contract and keeping Metro and all her fans in suspense.

Gifts: A husband


Some of my favorite finds when I am scouring through old fan magazines are candids of random stars together. “I never knew that Blank ever even met Blank!” I often think, particularly now during “awards show season”, how the generations to come won’t feel similar joy, since there are thousands of pictures taken at every red carpet event, awards show and party and so thus the surprise of seeing stars posing together has dwindled.

Here are some shots of Clark with other Tinseltown folk…

clark gable robert taylor

with Robert Taylor

george burns gracie allen clark gable

with George Burns and Gracie Allen

clark gable errol flynn

with Errol Flynn

clark gable judy garland

with Judy Garland

clark gable margaret o'brien

with Margaret O'Brien

mickey rooney clark gable

with Mickey Rooney

marlene dietrich clark gable

with Marlene Dietrich

paulette goddard clark gable

with Paulette Goddard

jack lemmon clark gable

with Jack Lemmon

marilyn maxwell clark gable

with Marilyn Maxwell

roy rogers clark gable

with Roy Rogers

clark gable ann dvorak

with Ann Dvorak

clark gable susan peters

with Susan Peters

clark gable elizabeth taylor

with Elizabeth Taylor

clark gable ginger rogers

with Ginger Rogers

clark gable ann sheridan

with Ann Sheridan

clark gable shirley temple

with Shirley Temple

clark gable jayne mansfield

with Jayne Mansfield

clark gable marie dressler

with Marie Dressler

clark gable katharine hepburn

with Katharine Hepburn

clark gable james stewart

with Jimmy Stewart


nancy davis clark gable

with Nancy Davis

gary cooper clark gable

with Gary Cooper

clark gable bette davis

with Bette Davis

clark gable spencer tracy robert taylor william powell

with Spencer Tracy, Robert Taylor and William Powell

See more in the gallery.



This is a strange little piece written for Modern Screen magazine in 1937. In the late 1930’s, Clark was certainly considered “the King of Hollywood” but his box office was exceeded by a certain little curly-topped hoofer.

“Sure I’m afraid of Shirley Temple,” he agreed solemnly. “She haunts me. I can see her sitting up there, shaking her curls and twinkling her eyes at me. I can almost hear her: ‘Hey man down there, come on up and catch me.’ But I’m not playing tag with Shirley. I know my place. And mighty grateful that it’s even second.”

Clark seems to be taking the whole interview very lightly. He was not one to really care about box office receipts or being surpasses by anyone.

“Isn’t it bad enough to be pushed around by an eight-year-old without shouting it from the housetops? You want me to call attention to the fact that a pint-size youngster has me stopped? There she stands, three foot something or other, and holds the fort. You can’t crawl ‘round her, and you can’t climb over her. If it were Bob Taylor now, you could at least take a poke at him. Not that it would do any good, but just for the hell of it. But Shirley, what could you do with her? She’d lift those lashes and smile that smile, and she’d have you licked, same as the rest of ‘em. ‘Take it away, lady, it’s all yours,’ that’s what you’d say, knowing darn well you weren’t giving her a thing she didn’t have snug and tidy in her pocket already.”

He even said he’d play a role with her, if he’d have the chance. Now that would have been rather interesting…

“Sure I’d play with Shirley if I got the chance. A man doesn’t shy off just because he’s scared. I might shake and shiver, but I’d face the music and go down with my boots on. Make no mistake about that. I’d go down all right. Even a good actor like Frank Morgan had to stay on his toes every minute he was playing with her. She’s not just a cute youngster.” And here he turned serious. “If it were just that, there’d be plenty of other cute youngsters to take her place. Well, can you figure anybody taking Shirley’s place? People on the set have told me how she handles herself, how she never blows up, how she’s got the technique of her hob at her little fingertips. I’d probably find myself rehearsing in front of a mirror, trying to keep up with her. I’d probably learn plenty from her, too. I have—from all the women I’ve worked with—Loy, Garbo, Shearer, Lombard, top-notchers, the lot of ‘em. Be kind of fun, at that, to go to school to No. 1.

The article is rather silly, as Clark laments how Shirley looks better in a frilly dress than he would:

When we started ‘Parnell’ there was some talk of a beard. We compromised on sideburns. With Shirley, the question would never come up. If it did, she’d laugh and stick it on and think was some fun new kind of game she was playing. What’s more, she’d look just as sweet with that face of hers poking out over it. Well, the beard would look just as funny on me, but the face would take punishment. And then there’s clothes. Put Shirley in a frilly dress, and she looks grand. Put her in overalls and she looks just as grand. Put me in a frilly dress and see how I look. I just don’t have the range.

After it’s been established that he can’t complete with Shirley in the filly-dress-and-curly-top department, the article strangely veers into what Clark’s plans on for the future. At this point in his life, he was separated from Ria and cavorting around town with a certain Miss Lombard, though nobody knew yet if this was the real thing or one of those brief Hollywood dalliances. It’s interesting, though, nearly two years before he moves into his beloved Encino ranch that would be his home the rest of his life, how it seems to fit the bill of what his ideal home would be:

The house could be almost anything that was practical and comfortable. Only not Spanish; I don’t like Spanish architecture. Early American, maybe; and one story. I don’t go for two-story houses. And not to run over ten thousand dollars. I’d have gas and electricity and all those things put in. I don’t care for the fancy stuff, but I do like a certain amount of comfort.

 There’d be one big living room, probably running the entire length of the house, with a huge fireplace at one end, the kind you could get a good big log into. I might almost make it a combination living room, dining room and playroom.” He was warming to his theme now, as the house grew under his eyes, eager as a boy’s. “You could sort of whisk the dining room away, when you’d finished eating, like those fellows in the fairy tales. I’d do the whole room in knotty pine, with a ceiling of big timbers, and instead of board floors, I’d have this time you can throw rag rugs down on. So if you’re out riding, you can come in with mud on your feet, and so can your dogs, and you don’t have to worry about what’ll happen to the Oriental carpets. Just run a mop over it, and there you are.

 I’d like plenty of gay color around, but none of this wild stuff—what do they call it? Surrealist? Can you make heard or tail of it? No? Me, too. Oh, and brass; I like brass bright and shining by the fireplace and anywhere else I can stick it.

 Not over three bedrooms; a couple for my friends, because the latchstring would always be out. Not too big a kitchen; and a cellar under the whole house. Where I could store things like potatoes and apples. Bathrooms are the one thing I might go haywire on. Probably spend more money on them than the rest of the house put together. I hate a shower that sprays out a measly trickle or two and stops. I want them full, with lots of pressure behind them, so they make you sting.

I’m not sure how the water pressure was on the ranch, but the rest of that pretty much sounds right on. It’s funny, but every article/interview with him from 1936-1938 generally has him talking about how he will be shoved out of the movie business and how he’ll be okay with that and just spend his time farming and leading a simple life. In several articles from that time period, he talks about exactly how much money he figures he can live on after he’s done with movies, or rather, after the movies are done with him. It’s so modest, and so very un-movie-star-like, for a man at the top of his game to repeatedly worry and talk about how when he’s forced to leave the business.

Will I miss the movies? Well, you see, I’m just a farmer at heart. I’ll be building fences, pruning trees, making improvements, working out my horses. I’ll be too busy to miss anything—even Shirley.

Read the article in its entirety in The Article Archive.

 All dolled up and out on the town for a worthy cause!



There’s Clark and Carole looking quite dashing, posing in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The occaison? An all-star radio broadcast for Greek War Relief that was held seventy years ago today–January 8, 1941.

I love  all-star events like this because the pictures answer the questions of “Did so- and-so ever meet so-and-so?”

For instance, the event was only one of two instances that I know of that Carole is pictured with Myrna Loy (and that’s Melvyn Douglas and Tyrone Power with them too):


Carole, Myrna and Tyrone share a secret:greek8The dashing duo with Dick Powell, Frank Morgan, Ann Rutherford and Shirley Temple:


Doesn’t Clark looked thrilled by whatever story Samuel Goldwyn is telling?


Being friendly with a guy who reportedly neither one of them liked, Charles Laughton:


The star-studded crowd backstage:


Here’s hosts Jack Benny and Bob Hope:


Melvyn Douglas, Jack Benny and Robert Taylor with Barbara Stanwyck:


Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck with Lewis Stone:


Ronald Colman and Shirley Temple:


From Photoplay magazine:

Again we say there is no community anywhere or any group or people so ready and willing at all times to give of their precious time and talent to a worthy cause as the people of Hollywood.

The gigantic radio program organized by Mr. Samuel Goldwyn for Greek Relief and broadcast to Greece and England had practically every star in the business participating, from Shirley Temple to Charles Laughton. Bob Hope and Jack Benny, as co-partners in emceeing, kept the performers in stitches—Bob with lighthearted quips, Benny with his heavyhearted worry.

Myrna Loy was the belle of the ball throughout rehearsals and little Shirley Temple was so popular she and Ronald Colman were compelled to lock themselves in a dressing room to rehearse in peace. But [our photographer] is resourcefulness itself. He merely climbed up to the transom and clicked away.

Big bad George Raft, who scares millions on the screen, got the willies when he learned he was to be tossed like a badminton cock between Benny and Hope in a skit, He couldn’t even go on the air, he was so frightened. 

It was Mickey Rooney who nearly threw the troupe into a fit. Mickey, who had been rehearsing for the Charlie McCarthy-Edgar Bergen show over at NBC, got caught in the traffic jam outside the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard and arrived backstage just two minutes before he went on the air in a Hardy skit.

 Considering the hours and days of rehearsals and the writing and technical talent that lay behind the broadcast, we’d say Hollywood had done its bit once again—and done it magnanimously.


You can see the photos from the event in the gallery.

I’ve started organizing the gallery better—it bothered me especially that the candids section was a hodge podge of years and events thrown together in random order. So the random candids have been separated into two year groups, 1930-1944, and 1945-1960.  Those pics are slowly but surely being put in a somewhat-choronological order as well. Certain events have been given their own album–one for the 1935 Academy Awards, for Clark and Kay in Italy in 1959,  for Clark’s handprint ceremony at Grauman’s in 1937 and the Greek Benefit.

I’ve also been adding captions where they are missing and deleting and re-uploading some pics that need better quality or where the watermark screws up the picture. If you know of any in particular, please comment on it in the gallery and I’ll fix it if I can.