Shirley Temple, a 1930s child star, was an American actress, singer, and dancer. Media myths and rumours abounded during her popularity. Some accusers said she wore a wig, dyed her hair, filed teeth, wore dentures, had no formal training, and, most egregiously, had dwarfism.
The rumour that Temple was a disguised adult was so persistent that the Vatican intervened. The Vatican used to arbitrate all kinds of disputes back in the day. Shirley Temple wrote in her autobiography that Father Silvio Massante visited her family to address the rumours. He told the family he wanted to discuss “a persistent rumour that Shirley Temple is no child at all.”
Shirley said she sat still in stock while the adults processed this rumour for the first time.
“‘Obviously, she is not,’ said Father Massante.
Father Massante and the Vatican ended one of the child star’s rumours.