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© AP / Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple, iconic child star, dies at 85
Feb. 11, 2014, 6:38 AM EST
WOODSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- Shirley Temple, the dimpled, curly-haired child star who sang, danced, sobbed and grinned her way into the hearts of Depression-era moviegoers, has died, according to publicist Cheryl Kagan. She was 85.
Temple, known in private life as Shirley Temple Black, died Monday night at about 11 p.m. at her home near San Francisco. She was surrounded by family members and caregivers, Kagan said.
"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 statement said.
A talented and ultra-adorable entertainer, Shirley Temple was America's top box-office draw from 1935 to 1938, a record no other child star has come near. She beat out such grown-ups as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford.
More: Shirley Temple won praise in diplomatic career In 1999, the American Film Institute ranking of the top 50 screen legends ranked Temple at No. 18 among the 25 actresses. She appeared in scores of
movies and kept children singing "On the Good Ship Lollipop" for generations.
Temple was credited with helping save 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy with films such as "Curly Top" and "The Littlest Rebel." She even had a drink
named after her, an appropriately sweet and innocent cocktail of ginger ale and grenadine, topped with a maraschino cherry.
Temple blossomed into a pretty young woman, but audiences lost interest, and she retired from films at 21. She raised a family and later became active
in politics and held several diplomatic posts in Republican administrations, including ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the historic collapse of
communism in 1989.