The rising popularity of cinema and television shows became a great opportunity for child stars who gained fame at a very young age with their various appearances. However, there is a price of fame and commercial success controlled mainly by their parents. These actors had to face the harsh consequences of having a career at a young age when they grew up, although everybody wanted them to stay as a child.
It’s impossible to remain a child forever, which has always bothered the people that earned millions of dollars thanks to being a child star. Their becoming teens and adults eventually meant that they would lose their highest income and have to find another job. While the agencies and producers were looking for new stars, the old ones had to start a new life, and the famous actress Shirley Temple was one of them who made Michael Jackson cry.
Why Did Michael Jackson Cry When He Met Shirley Temple?
Shirley Temple started her acting career at the age of three, and international fame came with her appearance in the American comedy-drama ‘Bright Eyes’ released on December 28, 1934. Temple’s curly hair and cute face made her one of the most famous child actors of the mid and late ’30s. Her popularity declined when she wasn’t that little girl anymore and stopped acting at the age of twenty-two; then, she focused on her diplomatic career.
After Temple, there were countless child stars in different parts of the entertainment sector, tv shows, movies, advertisements, and music. Being a child pop star became even more prolific than an acting career. It can be said that Michael Jackson’s father, Joe Jackson, realized this opportunity. Joe founded The Jackson 5, which included his children, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael, in 1964. So, Michael’s musical career started at a very young age.
Rehearsals and studio sessions turned into a nightmare for Jackson, who was harshly beaten by his father to keep him in line. However, the band became very successful, and their records, ‘Destiny’ and ‘Triumph,’ achieved great popularity. It’s hard for Jackson to talk about his times as a child pop star considering what he went through. Therefore, the musician was one of the few people who could relate to Shirley Temple.
During one of his interviews, Jackson drew attention to the challenging side of being a child star which everyone was excepting you never to grow up. He highlighted that it’s hard to continue his career as an adult star, although he became one of world’s the wealthiest and most famous singers. Jackson previously stated that he was a huge fan of Temple and had a 1934 Shirley Temple poster; it’s unforgettable to meet her in person.
Here’s what Jackson said about Temple:
“It was very difficult. It’s hard growing up a celebrity child. Very few make that transition from child star to adult star. It’s very difficult. I relate to Shirley Temple. I met her in San Francisco, and I sat at her table, and I cried so bad. She said, ‘What’s wrong, Michael?’ I said, ‘I love you. I need to be around you more.’
She goes, ‘You’re one of us, aren’t you?’ and I said, ‘Yes, I am.’ Somebody else said, ‘What do you mean?’ and she said, ‘Michael knows what I mean.’ I know what she meant; to have been there as a child star and to have graduated to have succeeded in making that transition to fame as an adult is very difficult. When you’re a child star, people don’t want you to grow up. They want you to stay little forever. They don’t want you to work afterward. It’s very hard.”
Jackson revealed that he started to cry while sitting together with Temple because they could understand each other’s feelings and pains that they suffered throughout their careers as child stars. Jackson was happy to find someone who could feel what he went through, but it was also a bittersweet moment to see another person who possibly had the same traumas.