Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 8.17.29 AM

Shirley Temple Black was an iconic child star and US Ambassador
Image: Gushi Soda via Flickr CC

Shirley Temple Black, child star and US Ambassador, died Monday night at her home near San Francisco. She was 85.

With her iconic curly hair and dimples, Shirley Temple sang, danced and acted her way into the world’s hearts at an incredibly young age. Known for movies such as “The Littlest Rebel” and “Curly Top,” along with the infectious tune, “On the Good Ship Lollipop,” Shirley Temple’s short tenure as a performer has cemented her as the most successful child star of all time.

Temple believed in living her life surrounded by those she loved, and that’s exactly how she died. “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,” according to a family statement.

Temple Black is also known for her work as a humanitarian and diplomat, serving as a US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the fall of Communism in 1989. She credited her time as an entertainer to her success in politics. “Politicians are actors too, don’t you think?” she once said. “Usually if you like people and you’re outgoing, not a shy little thing, you can do pretty well in politics.”

While she will be remembered for the work she did around the world, her legacy will always be found in that curly-haired little girl who gave Depression-era America hope and happiness.

“She’s indelible in the history of America because she appeared at a time of great social need, and people took her to their hearts,” the late Roddy McDowall, a fellow child star and friend, once said.

Featured Image: Boston Public Library  via Flickr CC