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Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star turned diplomat, dead at 85

Shirley Temple Black, child star phenomenon of the 30's who lifted America's spirits during the Great Depression, died late on Monday evening at the age of 85, according to publicist Cheryl J. Kagan.

Shirley Temple, "Bright Eyes" 1934
Fox Film Corp. / The Hollywood Archive

Temple Black, was arguably the most popular child movie star in Hollywood history with a string of non-stop hits starting with “Little Miss Marker” in 1934 and continuing with such films as “Captain January,” “Poor Little Rich Girl” and “Wee Willie Winkie.” The precocious and dimpled actress sang and tap danced her way into America’s heart and is credited for keeping the troubled 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy during the depression.

In a recent statement, SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard said, “Shirley was a terrific actor whose vibrancy and brilliance set audiences on fire at a crucial time in our nation’s history. More important, she was a conscientious and caring citizen whose work on behalf of her union and her country exemplified true service. She was a true icon of the entertainment industry and beloved of our her colleagues in the acting profession.”

Temple Black is survived by children Linda Susan, Charlie Jr. and Lori, along with granddaughter Teresa and two great-granddaughters Lily and Emma.

Shirley Temple Trivia per

She was supposed to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939), but 20th Century Fox refused to lend her to MGM, so Judy Garland was cast in the role.

Her mother, Gertrude Temple, did her hair in pin curls for each movie. Every hairstyle had exactly 56 curls.

Actresses Shirley Jones and Shirley MacLaine were both named after her.

From the late 1960s onward she was increasingly active in Republican Party politics. She served as U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and held other government-related positions.

Appears on cover of The Beatles's "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album.

Auditioned twice to be in "Our Gang" / "The Little Rascals." She apparently failed the first audition, and made the second while she was appearing in the "Baby Burlesks" series. "Our Gang" director Robert F. McGowan refused to agree to Shirley's mother's request that Shirley receive star billing with "Our Gang," so she didn't get in.

She was voted the 38th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

At age 6, Temple became the first recipient of the juvenile academy award.

Was named #18 Actress, The American Film Institutes 50 Greatest Screen Legends.

Bill Robinson (aka "Bojangles Robinson") was her idol when she was a child, and she got to work with him on four pictures.

A soft cocktail - Shirley Temple - was created in her honor consisting of, Ginger Ale (or 7-Up), Grenadine and Orange Juice, topped with a Maraschino Cherry and a slice of lemon.

When Gary Cooper first met Shirley Temple on the set of their movie Now and Forever (1934) he asked for her autograph.

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