Shirley Temple Black, who many would argue is this nation’s and perhaps the world’s most famous child actress, died Monday night at the age of 85. The news was confirmed by her publicist according to Fox News on Feb. 11.
She was surrounded by her family and those caring for her in her Woodside, California home when she passed away. Her death is attributed to natural causes.
The little girl with the trademark ringlets started her acting career at the ripe old age of 3. She was the star of 4 box office smash hits by the time she was 10 and at the time, made the outrageous salary of $50,000 per film.
The first film that caught people’s attention was the 1932 movie, “War Babies” in which she played the role of Baby Berlesks. Her singing and dancing – particularly tap dancing – continued for about another 18 years.
She married Charles Black and changed her last name to Temple Black. Though she retired from making movies at the age of 22, she did not drop out of the public eye.
She became a foreign diplomat serving as a member of the U/.S. delegation to the United Nations from 1969 until 1974. Next she took on the job of U.S. Ambassador to Ghana from 1974 until 1976 and then again as U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992.
The family has released this statement:
“We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and adored wife of fifty-five years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black.”
Though she hasn’t made a movie since 1949, she remains a cultural icon to this day. Funeral arrangements are pending. We offer our deepest sympathy to her family and friends.
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