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Shirley Temple dead at 85: 'America's Sweetheart' was 3-years-old in first film

Shirley Temple is dead today at 85. Shirley Temple was an icon, she was the little girl who entertained you, your parents, your grandparents and possibly your great-grandparents in a series of films from the 1930s that are still popular today.

Shirley Temple is dead at 85, she died of natural causes surrounded by her family in her California home.
Shirley Temple is dead at 85, she died of natural causes surrounded by her family in her California home.Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images

According to Fox News on Feb. 11, Shirley Temple Black died at home in Woodside, California of natural causes. She was surrounded by her family. The little girl with the curly hair will forever live on in those films.

"Shirley Temple curls" is a phrase dubbed after those loose curls that she sported during her famous films and the curls that many tried to imitate. She was the biggest box office draw from 1935 to 1938 and her movies were credited for saving one of the biggest movie production companies from bankruptcy, 20th Century Fox. While she began her life in show business, she went on to do so much more.

Shirley Temple married and became Shirley Temple Black, who raised a family and was an important figure in U.S. politics. Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke of the child star like she was a national icon. "As long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be alright," Roosevelt once said of the little girl with curls. Shirley Temple started in the movies at age three and by age six she won an Academy Award.

Mothers all over the nation dressed their little girls like the famous movie star and dolls in her likeness were a top seller, which are top collectables today. Shirley Temple lived a full and wonderful life, this is a death the entire nation will mourn, although that little tap dancing girl would probably prefer you to celebrate her long and happy life instead.