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Shirley Temple dies: Beloved child star dead at 85, proud entertainer and mother

Shirley Temple has died this week at the ripe old age of 85. The beloved golden-haired child star may be most fondly remember as the talented singing and dancing girl who often comes to mind as America’s little darling, but she grew up to be a proud mother and even politician later on in life. MSN News shares this Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, that Temple passed away this Monday night peacefully in her home surrounded by close friends and family members.

Shirley Temple as a child star
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Shirley Temple was confirmed to have died in her sleep by her publicist earlier this morning, Cheryl Kagan, at the age of 85. With her cute dimples, golden curly hair, and ability to sing, dance, act, and smile at such a young age, she remains an indelible mark on U.S. pop culture and brought light into the lives of many Depression-period moviegoers.

Away from the black-and-white movies and celebrity spotlight, the child actress was known privately as Shirley Temple Black. She passed away at roughly 11 p.m. in her California home on Monday night, with caregivers, a few close friends, and family members all around her, added Kagan in her 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 for fifty-five years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black," a family member said in a public announcement about the beloved star’s death.

Shirley Temple was a massive box-office winner in the late 1930s, renowned throughout America for her cute face and budding talent as a supremely young entertainer. Surpassing all other child stars, her dancing, singing, and simple charm managed to trump box-office moneymaking leaders as Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, and Bing Crosby at the time.

More recently in 1999, the American Film Institute was proud to award Shirley Temple a Number 18 spot among the top 25 actresses in the Leading 50 Screen Legends category. While Temple may have died at the age of 85 this week, she will forever be remembered for appearing in a number of special celebrity appearances, a score of well-known movies, and singing numerous catchy songs, particularly “On the Good Ship Lollipop.” Even the sweet popular drink for children, a Shirley Temple, is named after her.

“Shirley Temple blossomed in her teenage years into a pretty young woman, but audiences eventually lost interest in the golden-haired child star, and she retired from the movie industry at the young age of 21. She went on to raise a family and become a loving mother. Eventually, the aspiring politician became active in local politics and held a number of diplomatic posts in Republican fields, including as ambassador to Czechoslovakia in the midst of the major collapse of communism in 1989.”

"I have one piece of advice for those of you who want to receive the lifetime achievement award. Start early," she said back in 2006 when she was proudly honored by the Screen Actors Guild.

With a magnificent history, Shirley Temple will no doubt be remembered for generations to come.

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