Shirley Temple Net Worth

How much is Shirley Temple worth?

Net Worth:$25 Million
Profession:Professional Actress
Date of Birth:April 23, 1928 (aged 85)
Country:United States of America
5 ft 1 in (1.57 m)

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.” Shirley Temple

About Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple was an American actress, author, businesswoman, dancer, diplomat, and singer. She began her film career in 1931 when she was just three years old and quickly achieved international fame with her role in Bright Eyes. From 1934 to 1938, she was the number one box-office draw as a child actress in Hollywood. In the late 1960s, after she stopped acting, she began her diplomatic career as the US representative at the United Nations General Assembly.

American actress, singer, dancer, businesswoman, and diplomat Shirley Temple had an estimated net worth of $25 million dollars at the time of her death, in 2014. Temple was Hollywood’s number one box-office draw as a child actress from 1934 to 1938.

She was born on April 23, 1928, in Santa Monica, California. She is the third child of George, bank employee, and Gertrude Temple, a homemaker. She has two brothers, George Jr. and John and all of them were raised in Brentwood, Los Angeles. Shirley’s mother encouraged her to develop her acting, dancing, and singing talents and enrolled her in the Meglin’s Dance School in September 1931.

While attending the dance school, she was spotted by the casting director for Education Pictures, Charles Lamont. He signed her to a contract in 1932 and soon, Shirley began her acting career and landed her debut role in the feature film The Red-Haired Alibi. In both 1931 and 1932, she was part of Baby Burlesks and starred in eight very popular films from 1931 and 1932. The following year, she received two roles in long feature films – Out All Night and To the Last Man and three roles in short films.

At the beginning of her career, Temple was earning no more than $10 per day. 1934 was the breakthrough year that brought her a lot more money and international popularity. That year, she took part in Stand Up and Cheer!, Baby Take a Bow, Change of Heart, Little Miss Marker, Now I’ll Tell, and Bright Eyes.

Thanks to her role in the movie Stand Up and Cheer! the child actor was able to land a contract that brought her around $150 per week. Throughout the late 1930s and the entire 1940s, while she was a teenager and then a young adult, Shirley participated in films that earned her a total of an estimated $200,000 or $300,000. Or about $4 million to $6 million in 2022 dollars.

Among some of her most notable roles are in Young People, Kathleen, Honeymoon, Fort Apache, and A Kiss for Corliss, with the latter being her final film until 1976, when she appeared as herself in America at the Movies.

Temple’s Total Net Worth

Being able to adapt and work in the business world and not just in the film industry is what made the actress turned businesswoman so successful. Towards the end of her film career, Shirley Temple began working on the radio. She had her own radio show titled Junior Miss, which aired on CBS from March to August 1942. Overall, while Shirley Temple may have only had earnings of around $5 million during her career, that is the equivalent to $127 million in 2022 dollars.

She will have had to pay some high tax brackets on that amount however. Back in the 1940s the taxes that she may have had to pay could easily have been over 70% federally. More, when adding in state income tax.

She married John Agar between 1945 and 1950 and it is unclear what occurred in the event of their divorce. She was also married to Charles Alden Black between the years of 1950 and 2005. Some money must have changed hands but nothing has been made public.

Assumedly, Shirley must have invested some of her $2.5 million nest egg; and if she did as is predicted, it is estimated that her returns could have been substantial. She would have had no choice really but to invest considering inflation was so high in the periods when and after she earned her net worth.

If at the end of her career in 1963 she had invested $800,000 into American stocks it is possible that her returns could have equalled $117.5 million by 2014. That is if she reinvested all of her gains and included the dividend payments. That was the average return from the entire S&P500 over that period, when compounding returns and dividends.

It is unlikely that her investments faired that well, or even anywhere. It is estimated that they performed at about one fifth of that return. In the end, it looks like Shirley Temple’s net worth may have been around $25 million.

In the 1950s, she began her diplomatic career and joined the California Republican Party. For more than three decades, she joined the office of the US Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush. She was the 9th US Ambassador to. Ghana, the 18th Chief of Protocol of the US and the 27th US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. During her impressive diplomatic career, Shirley was also present in the Velvet Revolution and served on the boards of directors for many large organizations and enterprises such as Walt Disney, Bank of America, Bank of California, Del Monte Foods, United Nations Association, National Wildlife Foundation, and UNESCO.


Shirley Temple is considered to be one of the greatest female screen legends of America and the Hollywood cinema. From April 1928 to February 2014 (when she passed away), she was able to flourish in the entertainment business and in the politics. Her career began as a child actor in the early 1930s and she continued acting until the 1950s.

Starting the 1950s, she became a businesswoman and a diplomat. For the next 30 years, she worked for three of the US presidents and, besides earning an estimated $25 million dollar net worth, she also won herself many awards and honors, including the “Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award”, the “Kennedy Center Honors” and her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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