Shirley Temple: Famed former child actress dead at 85

Actress later became U.S. diplomat

(CNN) -- Shirley Temple Black, who rose to fame as arguably one of the most well-known child actresses in Hollywood history, died late Monday night, her publicist said.

She was 85.

Temple died of natural causes at her Woodside, California, home, surrounded by family and caregivers, a statement from Cheryl Kagan said.

Temple began acting at age 3 and starred in four massive box-office draws before she turned 10, commanding a then-unheard of $50,000 per movie.

Her first film of notice appeared in 1932, when she played the part of the Baby Burlesks in a series of short films called "War Babies."

For about 18 years, she sang, tap danced and acted her way into the hearts of millions.

She retired from filmmaking at 22, after marrying Charles Black and changing her last name to Temple Black.

But she did not fade from the public eye. Far from it.

She embarked on a new career as a foreign diplomat: She served in the U.S. delegation to the United Nations from 1969 to 1974, was U.S. ambassador to Ghana from 1974 to 1976, and U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992.

"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 of fifty-five years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black," the statement said.

She remained a cultural icon for decades after stepping off the silver screen.

Her corkscrew curls were popular with little girls from the 1930s through the 1970s.

Funeral arrangements are pending. A remembrance guest book will be set up online at shirleytemple.com.

The-CNN-Wire
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