12 Feb - Shirley Temple Black, who rose to fame as arguably the most popular child star in Hollywood history, died on late Monday evening at the age of 85, her family said in a statement.
The actress was a bright-eyed, dimpled child movie star during the Great Depression and later became a U.S. diplomat.
"I have no trouble being taken seriously as a woman and a diplomat here," Black said after her appointment as U.S. ambassador to Ghana in 1974 at one of her many memorable speeches. "My only problems have been with Americans who, in the beginning, refused to believe I had grown up since my movies."
She began acting at the tender age of three and became a massive box-office draw before turning 10, commanding a then-unheard of salary of USD$50,000 per movie.
Her first film of notice was in 1932 when she acted in "War Babies," part of the "Baby Burlesks" series of short films.
Her corkscrew curls were popular with little girls from the 1930s through the 1970, with her popularity spawning a large array of merchandising items, such as dolls, hats and dresses.
At the box office, she managed to beat out the great adult stars of her day, such as Clark Gable and Bing Crosby. Temple was given a special juvenile Academy Award in 1935, at the age of six.
"Today as the world mourns the loss of 'America's Little Darling,' we remember not only one of the most prolific child stars to ever grace our screens, but also a woman whose achievements reached far beyond her Hollywood career," said Fox studio chief Jim Gianopulos about her passing.