If you think of the 1930s in film as the decade of Gable and Lombard, Cagney and Harlow, Stanwyck and the Marx Brothers, think again. The biggest star - No. 1 in the 1936, '37 and '38 exhibitor polls - was a three-time box-office champ before she was 10. Shirley Temple, singer, dancer, and prime exemplar of Movie Cute, owned the '30s.
To join or not to join films was the biggest choice I had to make. I'd done two years of biogenetic engineering, was an economics graduate and a gold medalist. I had also been a Bharatanatyam dancer from age five, always won the best actress award in school. Finally, I decided to do things for my soul, chose to act.