Lights Go Out on Shirley Temple, Classic Hollywood's 'Bright Eyes'

Shirley Temple, one of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars at the height of the Depression--her break out film Bright Eyes (1934), featuring “On the Good Ship Lollipop”--has gone to her reward. 

She joins her good friend, and my friend, the former film producer for Paramount Pictures A.C. Lyles, who died just over four months ago.  

Now it’s appropriate to add one more poignant story to my reminiscence of A.C.  

During our conversations, A.C. mentioned how close he was to Shirley, and told me she was ailing.

They spoke at least every other week, he said.

The last time I talked with A.C. was Thursday, July 25--almost exactly two months to the day before he died. 

It was time for him to be just talking to his peers, also at life’s sunset, with whom he shared so many fond memories. 

So, at the very end of the conversation, I asked A.C. if he had spoken with Shirley recently. He said, he had meant to call her that day, and thanked me for reminding him. He would call her first thing the next day!

That was the last time I spoke with A.C.

Rest in peace Shirley and A.C., back together again and talking up a storm!  

Mary Claire Kendall is currently writing a book about legends of Hollywood, focused on stories of recovery, for publication in 2015. She will be on the red carpet at the Oscars interviewing the stars.


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