Former Hollywood child star and US Ambassador to Ghana, Shirley Temple has died at the age of 85.
With her adorable charm and blonde curls, she was one of the most popular stars of the 1930s, in hit movies like Bright Eyes and Stand Up and Cheer.
After retiring from films in 1950 at the age of 21, Temple returned to the spotlight as a politician and diplomat.
She died on Monday at home in Woodside, California, from natural causes. “She was surrounded by her family and caregivers,” a statement said.
Born in 1928, Temple soon became a major star after getting her first film role at the age of three.
Her singing, dancing and acting won over fans worldwide. She was given a special juvenile Oscar in 1935, when she was just six years old. To this day, she is still the youngest person to receive an Academy Award.
With the nickname “America’s little darling”, she was ranked as Hollywood’s biggest draw for four years running from 1935 to ’38 in an annual poll of US cinema owners.
Her rendition of the song On the Good Ship Lollipop in the film Bright Eyes was among her most famous performances.
When she came back into the public eye, it was in a new guise. Under her married name Shirley Temple Black, she ran as a Republican candidate for Congress in 1967 but lost.
Richard Nixon later appointed her as a member of the US delegation to the United Nations General Assembly before President Ford named her the US ambassador to Ghana in 1974.
In 1989, she was made the US ambassador to Czechoslovakia shortly before the fall of the country’s Communist regime.
She considered her background in entertainment an asset to her political career. “Politicians are actors too, don’t you think?” she once said.
In a statement announcing her death, her family said: “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 55 years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black.”