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Temple distances herself from TV projects

By Army Archerd, Daily Variety Senior Columnist

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Showtime sent Shirley Temple clips in which she's portrayed (by Lea Golde) in ``Bojangles'' (the story of Bill Robinson as played by Gregory Hines) airing Saturday.

Temple tells me, ``They asked me if I would do interviews for it and for a documentary they were doing on 'Bojangles.' I said 'no comment' to doing interviews and 'no' to the documentary.''

On Mother's Day, May 13, ABC will air ``Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story'' on ``The Wonderful World of Disney.'' While Shirley would give Showtime ``no comment,'' her reaction to the clips of her were, ``The girl was a little thin and the wig was silly.''

She also didn't like the look they gave her mother (as played by Kirsten Bishop). Temple wasn't sent Showtime-MGM's full film, in which the talented Robinson was depicted as a womanizer, drunk and a gambler who died broke. Shirley said of Robinson, ``He was a classy man -- a dear person to me and a good friend.''

There'll be yet another outing for the Temple-Robinson famous dance duo thanks to Danbury Mint, which has created dozens of Shirley Temple dolls, the new one to be of both Shirley and Robinson -- plus the famous staircase on which they are dancing. Temple approved of the sketches for it.

She's also a ``consultant'' for the ``Child Star'' TV movie in which Hinton Battle plays Bill Robinson. It's produced by Hartbreak Films' Paula Hart and daughter Melissa Joan H. (``Sabrina, the Teenage Witch'') and directed by Nadua Tass (``Amy''), with Ashley Orr starring as Shirley from 5-1/2 to 11; Samantha Gillian is the 4-year-old Temple and Emily Hart is 14, when the film finales -- ``when,'' says Hart, ``you know she has a lot more to offer as a force in the world.''

Shirley told me she sent these producers comments (corrections?) on the script. Paula confirms they followed all of Temple's notes. Will Shirley make appearances for this film? Again, no -- but Thursday she viewed the completed ``Child Star'' and gives it a rave.

Meanwhile, she's busy completing her biography which takes her into the TV series ``which I loved'' and into politix and international relations in which she was/is indeed ``a force in the world.''