Shirley Temple

Child Star

Authored by: Geoff Lealand

The Routledge Companion to Global Popular Culture

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415641470
eBook ISBN: 9780203081846
Adobe ISBN: 9781136175961


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The act of being a star, basking in stardom, is defined by Google as “the state of being a very famous or talent entertainer or sport player.” Richard Dyer, in his influential studies Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society (1986) and Stars (1998), writes of stardom being the outcome of social and industrial forces, developed within a matrix of semiotic and psychological meanings. At a more fundamental level, “Stars are made for profit [and] are part of the way films are sold” (Dyer 1986: 5), and in large part are a phenomenon of the American film industry (aka ‘Hollywood’). But we should also acknowledge that other national cinemas also rely on star power, such as French cinema, Hong Kong cinema and Bollywood (Indian popular cinema).

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