Iconic child star Shirley Temple Black passes away at 85

Feb 11, 2014 at 11:37 a.m. ET

Shirley Temple Black, one of Hollywood's most cheerful and popular child stars, has sadly passed away — but she will not be forgotten.

Child star Shirley Temple dies
Photo credit: Nikki Nelson / WENN.com

The world fell in love with an adorable curly-haired, dimpled 3-year-old in 1932, and that talented actress went on to become one of the most widely known names in showbiz — Shirley Temple Black!

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At a time when the American nation needed its spirits lifted, Temple Black was the wholesome, innocent and jovial icon that people were able to look up to. And now, a woman who was once an iconic child actress, has sadly passed away.

According to the Curly Top actress' publicist Cheryl J. Kagan, Temple Black passed away late on Monday at her home in Woodside, California. However, a cause of death has yet to be revealed.

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Although Temple Black's life may be over, her Hollywood star will continue to shine as she managed to sing, act and dance her way into the hearts of a nation.

She managed to achieve what many actors only hope to accomplish in a lifetime. With 40 box office hits under her belt, Temple Black single-handedly helped save 20th Century Fox studios from bankruptcy — and she was able to do all of this before she even became a teenager.

Hollywood was not able to get enough of the outstanding talent that was the child star Shirley Temple, and some of her most popular performances include her work in the films Little Miss Marker, Stand Up and Cheer and Bright Eyes. Her voice also captivated audiences with her rendition of Richard A. Whiting and Sidney Clare's song "On the Good Ship Lollipop."

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According to BBC news, Temple Black even went on to be awarded a special Academy Award in 1935, a special miniature Oscar, and her footprints and handprints were added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard said, "Shirley was a terrific actor whose vibrancy and brilliance set audiences on fire at a crucial time in our nation's history. More important, she was a conscientious and caring citizen whose work on behalf of her union and her country exemplified true service. She'll be greatly missed by so many, but never forgotten.

"She was a true icon of the entertainment industry and beloved of her colleagues in the acting profession. Shirley simply epitomized the word 'star.' There are few more deserving of her accolades and I am personally so pleased that she was a recipient of our Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award."

Although Temple Black's popularity began to wane when she reached adolescence and she retired from showbiz in 1950 (she also married Charles Alden Black that year), this did not stop the young actress from continuing to try and make a difference in the world. She went on to develop a career in international politics.

Our thoughts are with Temple Black's fans and loved ones during this sad time.