TIME Music

MØ Covers the Spice Girls: You’ve Never Heard “Say You’ll Be There” Like This Before

MØ won’t release her debut LP No Mythologies To Follow until March, but the Danish singer already knows how to appeal to pop fans around the world: Make a killer Spice Girls cover.

The up-and-coming pop star Karen Marie Ørsted, who performs as MØ, took the UK girl group’s “Say You’ll Be There” and re-worked it as a hypnotic slow jam.

MØ recently told Billboard that the Spice Girls were the first group she ever bought an album from: “I felt like they were talking to my soul,” she said. And she hit the nail on the head: this sultry re-imagining of the 1996 Spice Girls hit speaks to ours.

Listen below:

Dance at your desk as you trip down memory lane with the original video:

MORE: 7 Scandinavian Bands You Should Listen To Now

MORE: Spice Girls Documentary in The Works

TIME Theater

Has Theater Lost Its Mind? Queen of the Night and Other Immersions

Katherine Crockett, Queen of the Night-mosphere Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

What Sleep No More hath wrought: a lot of sound and fury signifying rather little

The audience gets treated like royalty at Queen of the Night. After you descend a couple of flights to the basement of New York’s Paramount Hotel, an usher personally escorts you inside a cavernous ballroom-cum-supper club (the refurbished Diamond Horseshoe from the 1930s). For the next half-hour or so, you get free run of the premises, a complimentary drink at the bar and a lot of attention from the slinky, sleekly dressed performers wandering about. You’ll get fondled and fawned over, maybe dragged off for a private encounter, or led to center stage to make an offering to the Queen, who stands regally in a blue sheer gown and wearing a giant white two-faced mask. Eventually, you’re led to one of the communal dinner tables, where you’re fed a surprisingly robust meal of beef ribs, lobster or suckling pig. (Each table gets a different dish, and patrons are encourage to trade.)

The occasion for these festivities? That’s a little harder to say. The show (the creation of Randy Weiner, producer of the downtown theater hit Sleep No More) supposedly draws characters from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, but no ordinary theatergoer without production notes will be able to tell. Mainly it’s a series of circus acts and other pantomimed stunts — jugglers, acrobats, rope climbers, a fellow with a bullwhip threatening a naked girl — sort of a highlight reel of Cirque du Soleil, downtown performance pieces like Traces and Blue Man Group and 1970s softcore porn, all set to a pulsating rock underscore and a decadent-deco mise-en-scene. Except for a brief appearance by a Vegas-style emcee, there is virtually no dialogue, and the Queen has little to do except for a climactic solo dance, in which she writhes in anguish, tosses her blonde hair wildly, and shows off more body flexibility than any of the ice dancers in Sochi.

Queen of the Night is the latest entry in what is fast becoming an epidemic of “immersive” theater in New York and around the country. The show opened just a few days after another interactive piece, Stop Hitting Yourself, from the Austin-based theater collective Rude Mechs. That show, too, wallows in decadent deco-era opulence — ornate chandeliers, gold statuary — and there’s even another Queen, though this one is a dowager played by a guy in silver wig, who travels around the stage on a miniature scooter.

Stop Hitting Yourself is a more conventional theater piece (actors on a stage, audience members in seats, actual dialogue), though it doesn’t make much more sense. It opens with a bedgraggled, half-naked man lying onstage and pleading for someone to help him get up. He’s the narrator, a self-described “wild man” who is dragged into some sort of society-ball contest, in which he’s dressed to the nines and taught etiquette, amid a circle of rich swells who might have stepped out of a 1930s Mitchell Leisen film. All of this is the jumping-off point for some lively song-and dance numbers, and interludes in which the actors step out of character and coax members of the audience onstage. One patron is told to bark like a dog. A second is asked to show off his belly button. A third person is called up and asked to strip naked. When he does, you know you’ve been had.

The explosion of immersion shows can be traced to the phenomenal success of Sleep No More, the Punchdrunk company’s riff on Macbeth, in which theatergoers don masks and wander through a spooky abandoned hotel, occasionally encountering shards of Shakespeare. The show has been drawing sellout crowds for nearly three years in New York City, and has inspired more producers and theater companies to lure hip young audiences into the theaters by getting them out of their seats.

It’s a welcome trend. Immersive theater is a healthy reaction to the stodginess and predictability of so much conventional theater, and it’s provided a new palate for innovative choreographers and designers (Queen of the Night is directed by Christine Jones, a set designer for Broadway’s American Idiot and the Met’s Rigoletto). It’s also a reflection of the increasingly fuzzy line, in the age of YouTube, between performer and audience. The amazing thing about the patrons who become part of the show in Queen of the Night is how willingly and well they play their parts. The fellow who drops his underpants onstage in Stopping Hitting Yourself is, I have to assume, an audience plant — but the scary thing is that I’m not entirely sure.

What’s missing from all the fun and games — not to be a spoilsport! — is a little content. As impressive as Sleep No More is as a piece of installation art, any glimpses of coherent drama (or Macbeth) are few and random. Stop Hitting Yourself includes some pretentious babble about environmental responsibility and the greed of society, but it’s too muddled and haphazardly inserted to carry any real weight. After Queen of the Night’s revels are over (and the diners have tossed their cutlery into giant bins and taken a final turn on the dance floor), it’s hard to know what to take away from the evening, aside from a good pork dinner and a lot of new friends in heavy mascara. If the Queen herself knows, she’s not talking.

TIME olympics

Plushenko’s Retirement Is Proof He Should Have Quit Before Sochi

Sochi Olympics Figure Skating
Evgeni Plushenko of Russia waves to spectators after he pulled out of the men's short program figure skating competition due to illness at the Iceberg Skating Palace, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Ivan Sekretarev—AP

The iconic Russian figure skater, hobbled by injuries, should have given way to a younger generation before the Sochi Olympics began

After his aborted performance on Thursday—and the subsequent announcement of his retirement—it became all too clear that Evgeni Plushenko should have passed the torch to a younger skater before the Sochi Olympics commenced. For nearly a decade, the flamboyant figure skater has dominated the sport in Russia. At the age of 31, which is right around retirement age for an Olympic figure skater, he decided to try his Olympic luck for the third time despite a recent spinal surgery. It worked out well for him on Sunday, when he won a gold medal along with nine of his teammates in Sochi as part of the team figure skating competition. But four days later, when it came time for him to perform in the men’s singles, he skated up to the judges booth after a warm-up and told them he couldn’t go on. With that, Team Russia’s chances of a gold dropped to zero in the event where it has long been dominant.

As TIME reported earlier this week, Plushenko’s back was troubling him toward the end of his solo performance at Sunday’s team event. But he and his coaches boldly decided to carry on. “There are no healthy athletes in the major leagues,” said his coach, Alexei Mishin. “Everybody hurts.” Plushenko even suggested that he might compete in the next Winter Games four years from now.

That sounded almost delusional. On the strength of his remaining talents, it had been hard for him even to make it into these Olympics. He lost a key qualifying round in December to a young upstart named Maxim Kovtun, who is 12 years younger than Plushenko and approaching his prime. But the veteran wouldn’t give up. He refused to compete in the last qualifying round for Sochi, saying that he was too busy training for the Olympics, and he used his celebrity status in Russia to help lobby for another shot. After much debate in the press, he got it.

The Russian figure skating association allowed him to dance a “control run” for a committee of skating experts less than three weeks before the Games. Although that performance was never shown to the public or the press, the committee ruled that it was enough to give Plushenko a ticket to Sochi.

That now looks to have been a mistake. The pain that began bothering him during the team event on Sunday never went away, his coach said on Thursday. Then things got worse. The day before the singles event, Plushenko took a heavy fall during training. “The pain didn’t let up in the morning,” Mishin told a Russian newspaper. “We took medication, but it didn’t help.”

Russia, which has no replacement for him in the men’s short program, is now out of that contest, which should have offered one of its best chances for another gold. And they needed it. A week into the Games, Russia has only two golds and stands in seventh place in the overall medals tally, behind Switzerland. Plushenko had a chance to turn that around, but the chances of a younger skater would clearly have been better.

TIME remembrance

The Comedic Genius of Sid Caesar: 7 Clips You Can Actually Watch on YouTube

Your Show of Shows
Actor/comedian Sid Caesar NBC—Getty Images

A great comedian's choicest work — 60 years old and still brilliantly fresh

Comedy is hard. And when it comes to the best TV work of the late Sid Caesar, it can also be hard to find. The 2001 Sid Caesar Collection, comprising about six hours of skits and reminiscences, is not immediately available on Amazon, though it can be ordered from the Fandom store. So we cheer the video scavengers who have posted sketches from Caesar’s first TV exposure on the 1949 Admiral Broadway Revue and from his two magnificent series, Max Liebman’s Your Show of Shows (1950-54) and Caesar’s Hour (1954-58).

Flanked by his clever cohorts Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner and Howard Morris — with Nanette Fabray gamely replacing Coca on Caesar’s Hour — and performing material written by such comedy giants as Larry Gelbart, Neil Simon, Mel Brooks and (toward the end) Woody Allen, Caesar demonstrated his power and range as TV’s preeminent clown. Here are 10 favorite sketches, chosen by someone who as a kid found them ingeniously funny and who, 60 years later, can’t stop laughing.

1. “Five Dollar Date”; November 26, 1949, Admiral Broadway Revue

Caesar boils down one of the skits he performed, and he and Liebman wrote, for the 1948 Broadway revue Make Mine Manhattan. At the start, Sid, standing in front of the curtain, looks disheveled; his collar curls in and his jacket looks too large, as if he had already sweated down several sizes before coming on stage. Well, he knew what he was in for.

The skit describes a young man on two dates: one in 1939, when everything is inexpensive and idyllic and he ends the evening with change from his $5; the other a decade later, when inflation and bad manners dominate. On each date he hails a cab, picks up his girl, puts her in a second cab, takes her to a French cafe, a third cab, an Italian restaurant, a fourth cab, a movie and show, a hansom cab ride through the park and home. Sid plays the young man, the girl, the French and Italian restaurateurs, a movie usher and all five cab drivers. Twice. In six minutes. And it all rhymes. This magnif tour de farce is a showcase for Caesar’s reckless, almost rapacious comic energy. To watch it is a wearying treat.

2.”The Clock”; September 15, 1953, Your Show of Shows

Danny and Neil Simon wrote this wordless skit for the four leads, who play mechanical figures who appear each hour on a large clock in the German village of Bauerhof. Sid hits the anvil, Carl hits Sid’s hammer, Howie pumps the billows as Imogene cools the hammer with water. By the third hour the springs have sprung and Sid keeps getting Coca’s water in his face. As chaos increases, so does the quartet’s, er, clockwork precision.

3. “The German General”; September 26, 1954, Caesar’s Hour

Simple: Howie, as a German military aide, dresses his superior, Sid, in the uniform of a German officer. Howie breathes heavily on his boss’ monocle (“Das monocle ist geschmutzik!”) a little too hard, until it’s “schlippery from schaliva!” He takes off the General’s robe and scarf, slips a tunic on him, buttons it and polishes the buttons, clips his collar too tightly (“Du hasta klipt der shkin!”), flicks the strands of epaulets (“Epaulets flicken!”), attaches the braids (“Ba-raid rest!”), slips a glove on each of the General’s hands, proceeds with “brushin’ der Prussian” (“Du hasta jinglen der medalen?”), attaches the sword belt with some difficulty, moves on to the “perfume spritzen” and puts on the cap.

Now the General is “der schlickest one of all” and ready for work — a poignant capper, which I won’t spoil here except to note it’s borrowed from F.W. Murnau’s silent film The Last Laugh. Each of the 16 applications has its own lovely gag, beautifully played and spoken, in ersatz German, by the imperious Caesar and the efficient, loving Howie. After studying it a dozen times, I proclaim it the most cannily conceived and handsomely performed nine minutes in skitcom history.

4. “Argument to Beethoven’s Fifth”; December 27, 1954, Caesar’s Hour

In mime, a man (Sid) and a woman (Nanette) have a fight that nearly ends their marriage, all precisely orchestrated to the first movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. A few words can be lip-read (He: “Your mother!” She: “My mother?” and later a flurry of no’s and yesses), but most of the story is inferred from a masterly series of gestures, Sid humphing, Nanette fluttering. She finds a(n invisible) hair on his lapel; it’s not hers. Get Out! She retreats to the solace of the family pet. Stroking the animal, she realizes it was the hair of the dog that bit her. He returns, and they reconcile in a climactic hug. It sings!

5. “The Haircuts: ‘So Rare’ and ‘Flippin’ Over You'”; April 25, 1955, Caesar’s Hour

In the early days, hip TV types didn’t know how to treat rock ‘n roll, except with contempt. But Sid, Carl and Howie couldn’t help bringing their goofy energy to this musical parody. The Haircuts are a blend of two kinds of pop vocal groups: white (the Crewcuts) and black (the Treniers). Their first number, a power ballad that Caesar and writer Mel Tolkin composed in less than a minute (it took that long?), features Sid’s Johnny Ray-style screamin’ bridge. The uptempo “Flippin'” had three terrific dance turns, with Howie dervishing in circles on his back, Carl making wild windmills as his jacket straitjackets his arms, and Sid practically stomping through the floor with elephantine grace.

6. “Gallipacci”; October 10, 1955, Caesar’s Hour

The Pagliacci story rendered as a 20-min. musical: eight songs (including “Begin the Beguine,” “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and, why not?, “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”), all in fake-Italian, with an enormous cast. Sid is the clown Gallipacci, Nanette his duplicitous beloved Rosa; at the end he sings “Yellow Rosa Texas.” The highlight is Sid’s Italianate aria, to “Just One of Those Things,” as he applies a tear to his right cheek with a mascara pencil. But on the air the pencil tip broke, making a long line on his cheek instead of a rounded tear. So, while singing — and remaining in character — Sid picked up a brush, drew another vertical line, then two horizontal ones, creating a tic-tac-toe grid. He applied a few x’s and o’s, finally drawing a line through three x’s just as he completed the song. This was ad-libbing at its most admirable, sure comedic grace under live-TV pressure.

7. “Progress Hornsby on ‘People to People'”; September 25, 1957, Caesar’s Hour

Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks had created the 2000 Year Old Man as an improvised interrogation at parties. With Reiner as the interviewer and Brooks as the aged tummeler, the bit became a hit record and launched Brooks’ career as a public showman. Before that, Reiner had often played straight man to Caesar in the roles of a nonsense-spouting Professor (not far from the standup comic Irwin Corey) and, splendidly, as super-cool jazzman Progress Hornsby.

A combination of Dizzy Gillespie, Ernie Kovacs’ Percy Dovetonsils, Marlon Brando and probably several people I don’t know, Progress had been seen in an earlier skit asking the musical question, What is jazz? (“Jazz is a pencil sharpener. Jazz is a frying pan… Jazz is a beautiful woman whose older brother is a policeman.”) This parody of Edward R. Murrow’s weekly interview show Person to Person, with Progress quizzed by Reiner’s Ted Burrows, has some of the sharpest writing in the series. Let’s listen:

Ted: “You have a most unusual hairstyle.”
Progress: “Yes, it does have a touch of the Ming Dynasty, doesn’t it?”
 Ted: “Progress, how do you get your barber to cut your hair?” 
Progress: “I insult him. And this is his revenge.”
 Ted asks what Progress does with his old hair.
Progress: “I’m wearin’ it. This suit is me. You’ve heard of mohair? This is me- hair.” Ted asks Progress to list his favorite musicians, and Progress speaks of the legendary Fats Fidelio.
Progress: “Fats blew a high M.”
Ted: “An M? I thought the scale stopped at G.” 
Progress: “Not for the brave, sir.”
 He introduces his band. One fellow’s instrument is “radar.” Ted: “Radar?”
 Progress: “Très necessaire, sir. Whenever we play, we must be warned in case we approach the melody.”

TIME Television

The Hidden Factor in Hollywood’s Racial Diversity Problem

Grey's Anatomy
Sandra Oh, Sara Ramirez and Ellen Pompeo on 'Grey's Anatomy': the exception to the rule ABC

A new study goes one step beyond counting actors and directors — and actually checks up on their agents, too

If you’ve seen one study about the state of diversity in Hollywood, you won’t be surprised by the results of the latest. A new study from UCLA examines the gender and racial makeup of nearly 1200 movies and TV shows from 2011-2012 — and the data show that minorities and women are underrepresented, compared to real-life U.S. demographics, both in front of and behind the camera.

Of course, film and television have never accurately represented how diverse America really is: Statistics show that there are three nonwhite people in America for every nonwhite character on the big screen; in terms of lead roles on broadcast TV comedies and dramas, there are seven nonwhite people in America for every nonwhite character. Similarly, there are half as many women in films as in real life — although the amount of female lead roles on broadcast TV is on the upswing.

But the UCLA study goes one step further than most such diversity counts, taking a look at not only actors, filmmakers and awards, but also agencies. Agents serve as the “gatekeepers” of the industry — but the biggest agencies have fallen far behind in keeping their rosters of clients diverse, at least racially. Minority actors and creators tend to be represented by smaller agencies, whose clients find less high-profile work. The talent getting through the gate, then, are largely non-minority directors, writers and actors.

In a statement, study co-author Ana-Christina Ramon explained:

There are certain major projects that you just don’t get to be part of unless you have a connection with one of these top agencies… Or maybe you get to be a part of it, but you’re not going to be the lead. So the tendency of top agencies to pack their talent rosters with whites really restricts access to opportunities for underrepresented groups.

As it turns out, the data backs her up:

  • The three top agencies represented about 70% of all the film directors included in the study, but those directors were less than half as diverse a group as the other 30%, who were represented by smaller agencies. Similar figures held true for screenwriters.
  • Among film actors, those three agencies represented 72% of the actors. Those actors were only about 7% minorities; the remaining 28% of actors were 19% minority.
  • On TV, 74% of the creators were represented by those three agencies, and they were 2% minorities. The rest of the creators, not at those agencies, were 24% minority.
  • One bright spot: broadcast TV’s lead actors at the big agencies were slightly more diverse than at the smaller agencies, but still didn’t quite reflect the actual racial diversity of the United States.

The inclusion of agencies in this study points to something that’s rarely discussed in the ongoing debate about diversity in entertainment: Because the actor-director relationship is the most visible one in Hollywood, it’s easy to talk about casting in a vacuum. Yes, a powerful filmmaker can demand a higher level of diversity, but if a nonwhite actor can’t even find representation with a major agency, the filmmaker’s options are limited.

This issue recalls the recent controversy leading up to SNL‘s decision to cast a black female comedian, which drew attention to a perceived lack of diversity in comedy’s training grounds — like the Upright Citizen’s Brigade — and the obstacles casting directors encounter even when they do try to find more nonwhite actors. Especially when a project doesn’t come with a powerful creator who can overrule trends to pick the cast he or she wants (like Lorne Michaels or Jerry Seinfeld could), it matters that the top agencies are backing disproportionately white clients.

Ultimately, it all comes down to money. A big agent is a stamp of approval for a filmmaker or TV creator, indicating that the client is less of a risk to cast. However, the UCLA study’s conclusion isn’t all bad news: the authors found that films with greater than 20% minority casts made significantly more money worldwide than the films for which that figure was 10% or lower; TV ratings were also higher for more diverse shows.

So does a diverse cast draw viewers, or do better shows tend to cast more minorities? There’s no way to know for sure, but it does mean that a Hollywood concerned about its bottom line should probably start paying attention.

(MORE: Jerry Seinfeld’s Diversity Deficit: What’s the Deal With This ‘PC Nonsense’?)

TIME Music

Drake Wasn’t Happy That He Was Bumped From the Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’ By Philip Seymour Hoffman

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals
Drake arrives at the 2013 MTV VMA Awards red carpet at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Aug. 25, 2013. Dimitrios Kambouris—WireImage/Getty Images

Just hold on, we're going on a rant

Drake blasted Rolling Stone this morning over an interview that he claims misquoted him on the merits of Kanye West’s Yeezus.

While Drake had no issue with the magazine article including his harsh words to Macklemore, the Nothing Was The Same rapper apparently did not want them printing his comments about West’s lyrics. The interview isn’t available online yet, and doesn’t hit newsstands until tomorrow, but Hiphop-n-More has published scanned images of the article, which includes Drake claiming he has a good friendship with West, but also poking fun at West’s lyrics. “There were some real questionable bars on there. Like that, ‘Swaghilli,’ line? Come on man,” he reportedly told the interviewer about Yeezus. “Even Fabolous wouldn’t say some s–t like that.”

The ensuing buzz about the quotes apparently sent Drizzy into a tizzy, and he took to Twitter to correct the record. “I never commented on Yeezus for my interview portion of Rolling Stone,” Drake announced on Twitter this morning as part of a flurry of tweets expressing his displeasure with the mag.

Correcting what he felt was a misquote — and hopefully avoiding stirring the pot with West — is all well and good, but Drake didn’t stop there. He added, “They also took my cover from me last minute and ran the issue.” (This refers to the fact that Rolling Stone bumped him from the cover in order to instead pay homage to the beloved actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who passed away suddenly.)

It was a decision that riled the “Started From The Bottom” rapper, who tweeted that he was “disgusted” about it.

I never commented on Yeezus for my interview portion of Rolling Stone. They also took my cover from me last minute and ran the issue.

— Drizzy (@Drake) February 13, 2014

I’m disgusted with that. RIP to Phillip Seymour Hoffman. All respect due. But the press is evil.

— Drizzy (@Drake) February 13, 2014

I’m done doing interviews for magazines. I just want to give my music to the people. That’s the only way my message gets across accurately.

— Drizzy (@Drake) February 13, 2014

It’s bound to be deeply frustrating, for an artist, to be promised a cover of a national magazine and then have it snatched away. That said, saying you’re “disgusted” about being bumped for a tribute to someone who died just isn’t cool. With that one word, Drake took a reasonable complaint, turned it into a diva-worthy hissyfit, and headed straight back to the bottom — and now we’re here. All respect due.

MORE: Watch Drake Get In Touch With His Jewish and Black Roots on SNL
MORE: Kanye West’s The College Dropout Turns Ten: Here Are Five Mandatory Listening Tracks

TIME celebrities

Bye Bye Baby: Former Child Stars Look Back on Retiring Young

Mara Wilson, Matilda
Mara Wilson, Matilda Time & Life Pictures—Getty Images

Shirley Temple retired from acting at age 21 and found a new life in politics — and she paved the way for many successful child stars who chose careers outside of Hollywood

When Mara Wilson was welcomed into the 20th Century Fox family, someone told the 5-year-old that they planned to make her the next Shirley Temple.

“I remember feeling enormous pressure because I didn’t want to be Shirley Temple,” said Wilson, now 26. “Shirley Temple was Shirley Temple, and I didn’t ever feel like I could live up to that.”

Temple, who died at age 85 Monday, Feb. 10, set the precedent for all child actors. She was the first, the most successful, and seemingly the happiest. Temple might have entered the Hollywood elite at a young age, but she left it young as well — and unlike many modern young stars, she escaped more or less unscathed.

Although Wilson didn’t reach Shirley Temple levels of fame — and, to our knowledge, didn’t inspire any mocktails — her roles in Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street (“which is funny because I’m Jewish,” she said), and Matilda made her a ’90s icon. But Wilson, too, went into early retirement — fueled in part by her mother’s death during Matilda’s post-production. That was when things stopped being fun and turned into a chore.

“Very slowly I realized, too, that I was getting older,” she said. “And I wasn’t exactly aging gracefully. I was kind of awkward, and I didn’t feel like I really belonged there anymore, and Hollywood didn’t really want me either. So I consider it something of a mutual breakup: I was pretty much over Hollywood, and it was like, ‘Well, you aren’t really cute anymore, so we don’t know what to do with you.’ And it was fine with me.”

Many child actors experience the puberty push-out. Jeff Cohen’s iconic “truffle shuffle” (see below) when he played Chunk in The Goonies might be an audience favorite, but he was left unwanted when he started losing his baby fat.

But Cohen recalled that even Shirley Temple suffered a similar fate when she grew up and her blonde curls turned brown. Temple wrote in her autobiography how her agent Lew Wasserman, a mogul at MCA, pulled the actress into his office and told her that she was through — “washed up.” When Temple began to cry, Wasserman offered her only a tissue and the salty line, “Have one on me.”

“After making the studio enormous amounts of money, her usefulness was at an end. She was discarded,” Cohen told TIME via email. “Such is the nature of many businesses, including show business.”

Luckily, Goonies director Richard Donner gave Cohen an introduction to the business side of Hollywood, rather than a Kleenex. This helped lead Cohen to a career as a high-profile entertainment attorney, with a biography page that asks clients not to hold his “dubious” past as a child actor against him. Cohen admires Temple’s seamless transition into the second chapter of her life.

“Much like the optimistic heroines she played in her films, she did not become embittered,” he said. “She chose to transcend the darkness and build a beautiful and productive life.” Indeed, as has been vividly recalled in the days since her passing, Temple went on to be a mother, a prominent Republican fund-raiser, a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, and a diplomat to Ghana and Czechoslovakia before the fall of Communism.

Ilan Mitchell-Smith, best known for his starring role in Weird Science, found inspiration in Temple’s ability to be so wildly successful at one thing and then deciding that it was no longer for her.

“For her to end up successfully doing a job that was so unrelated, I think it’s kind of a model for what is possible,” said Mitchell-Smith. “I think one of the benefits of winning that lottery when you’re young is that you can have that moment and can still decide,what will I really enjoy and be fulfilled doing. I was always talking to people about history and very old stories — basically it was a result from being a really big Dungeons and Dragons nerd. I just wanted to pursue it as much as I could and maybe teach it.”

He is now an English professor at Cal State Long Beach.

Josh Saviano, who played Paul on the Wonder Years, decided that the end of high school (which coincided with the end of the series) would be his time to step back and reassess if he wanted to act. “I wanted to live a ‘normal’ life for a little bit and see where that led me,” he said. “If during the course of the next four years during school or after school the pull would bring me back in, I would do it. And it just didn’t.”

So Saviano became an intellectual property lawyer, largely dealing with corporate and celebrity branding. “Shirley Temple is one of the people who created her own brand, She took all this notoriety and became a leader for diplomacy and advocacy,” he said. Saviano believes he has managed a similar shift — “although not nearly to the same degree of success,” he said. “But it seems like a proper brand to go from child actor to this protector of brands and talent.”

Of course, not all former child stars feel as satisfied with their transition out of Hollywood. Like Temple, Sheila Kuehl was discovered in a tap-dancing class at Meglin Kiddie Studios. She went on to star in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis between 1959 and 1963.

“I was pretty deeply in the closet, but I had been gay since about the age of 18 — at least that’s when I knew it,” she said. After the president of CBS saw her pilot for a Dobie Gillis spinoff, Kuehl remembers, “He said, ‘I think she’s just a little too butch — let’s not try to sell it.’ I assumed that meant people knew, and my phone just stopped ringing.”

Kuehl found fulfillment as a law school student in the ’70s and became the first openly gay person elected to the California legislature in 1994. After 14 years serving as a state senator and assemblywoman, she is now running for a position in the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Many former child actors flirt with the idea of going back to Hollywood. Wilson continued to study theater at NYU, a “home for former child actors” — in which she’d avoid awkward eye contact with Haley Joel Osment or an Olsen twin in the halls, Wilson joked — and currently works at a nonprofit organization called Publicolor when she isn’t writing and doing comedy. “I had two or three flirtations to rekindle the flame, but it never really panned out and I wasn’t sad that it didn’t,” she said.

“Would I be tempted to win the lottery again?” Mitchell-Smith asked. “Like, yeah, that would be great. But the real work of it, of maintaining a professional network, and maintaining an agent who’s working for you, and going out on auditions, and making sure you have expensive haircuts?” He’ll stick to teaching Beowulf.

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