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Shirley Temple has died at 85

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Former childhood movie star Shirley Temple died Monday night at her home in California, her family said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.

She was 85.

Known in private life as Shirley Temple Black, Temple died at her home near San Francisco, surrounded by family, friends and caregivers, according to the statement.

Best known for her doe-eyed turn in numerous 1930s films, including "Bright Eyes" and "Curly Top," the roles played by Temple allowed her to showcase a special brand of energy and optimism for a nation enduring the Great Depression.

Born on April 23, 1928, Temple started dancing at age 2 and acting at age 3.

By the time Temple was 5, she was stealing the show.

In 1934, Temple was awarded a special miniature Oscar for her outstanding contribution to the silver screen.

A talented singer, dancer and actress, Temple was America's top box-office draw from 1935 — the year she turned 7 — until 1938. She was credited with helping save 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy with films such as "Curly Top" and "The Littlest Rebel."

A drink - the Shirley Temple - was named after her. Children copied her curls. A doll in her likeness became a collector's item.

As Temple aged, her Hollywood popularity declined.

In a marriage that did not last, Temple married John Agar at 17 years old.

In her second marriage to San Francisco businessman Charles Black, Temple entered the world of politics. She served as a U.S. ambassador to both Ghana and Czechoslovakia.

Funeral services are pending. Her survivors include three children, a granddaughter and two great-granddaughters.

____________________________

Bill Lewis is principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates, a solutions based professional consulting firm specializing in the discriminating individual, business or governmental entity.

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