Shirley Temple, perhaps Hollywood’s best known child star, has died at the age of 85.
Her family have issued a statement explaining that she died on Monday in her Californian home of natural causes.
The statement read:
She was surrounded by her family and caregivers. We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and… our beloved mother, grandmother [and] great-grandmother.”
Shirley Temple starred in many Hollywood films as a child and was renowned for her golden curls, sunny smile and unbelievable dancing and singing talent for one so young.
Temple was born in Santa Monica, California on 23 April 1928. She shot to fame early after her mother enrolled her at dance school when she was only three-years-old.
During the Depression era of the 1930s when people were desperate from some happiness and respite from the tough economic times, Temple became known as America’s “little princess”.
For more than four years she was the biggest star in Hollywood, starring in films like Bright Eyes, Curly Top, Heidi, Dimples, Baby Take a Bow, Our Little Girl and The Little Colonel.
After the age of 12, Temple’s Hollywood fame began to fade and she focussed on her schooling at an elite private institution for girls. She later became famous once more as a businesswoman, US Ambassador to Ghana and politician.
In her public life, Temple was vocal about ending racial discrimination and gained much acclaim for her novel approach to policy reform. Suffering from breast cancer in later life, Temple was one of the first famous women to speak openly about suffering from the disease.
However no matter how hard and effectively she worked in her later careers, most people could never separate Temple the adult from Temple the child star.
She said of her fame: “Some people are stuck on this image of the little girl. She is not me. We shouldn’t live in the past; my life is now.”
Temple brought great joy to the American people in a time of horrendous pain and suffering for many and continued to find ways to contribute to her country and the world as an adult.
Vale Shirley Temple.