Shirley Temple is a child star legend in the United States. What is less known about this household name is that her mother, Gertrude Temple, was one of the most famous and widely covered mothers in the Great Depression era, who groomed her daughter for stardom. Despite Gertrude’s tremendous professional achievements by serving as Shirley’s acting coach, manager and publicist, Gertrude was cast by the press as simply a loving and altruistic mother of Shirley to preserve the superstar’s aura of cuteness and innocence. This chapter examines the media representation of Gertrude Temple in a range of primary sources, including mainstream local and national newspapers, women’s magazines, fan magazines and movie industry trade magazines in the 1930s. It also draws on the biographical materials about Gertrude and Shirley Temple. This essay shows that despite Gertrude being a working mother – and being lauded as such – her media coverage reaffirmed the primacy of mothers not working outside the home. The press and Gertrude herself framed her actual professional contributions as primarily maternal, highly altruistic, and necessary to child development amid strong biases against women working outside the home during the Great Depression. Such a construction of a favourable identification with care work is still an effective public relations strategy today, yet it reinforced and amplified the ideology of selfless, joyful, effortless motherhood and promoted unrealistic, intensive mothering.