Legendary former child actress Shirley Temple, who rose to fame in the early 1930s during The Great Depression, has died, The New York Times is reporting. The news was confirmed by Temple's publicist, Cheryl Kagan.
Temple began her film career in 1932 at the age of only three, but it wasn't until 1934 and her starring role as Shirley Blake in the comedy drama Bright Eyes, that she became known for her signature curly ringlets, dimples, and extraordinary tap-dancing abilities. She remained one of the biggest stars in Hollywood for years after, and, impressively, was actually able to go on to retain a healthy career after her days as a child film star—a feat not achieved by many. Temple continued to act until the '60s, with her last TV appearance dated at 1963.
After acting, Temple became an active member in the Republican party, and, in 1969, was appointed Representative to the 24th United Nations General Assembly by President Richard M. Nixon. After this, she went on to hold the following positions: United States Ambassador to Ghana in 1974 to 1976, appointed by President Gerald Ford, the first female Chief of Protocol of the United States in 1976 to 1977 (during which time she was charge of the inaguration and inagural ball for President Jimmy Carter), and the United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1989 to 1992, appointed by President George H. W. Bush.
Temple passed away yesterday at her home in Woodside, CA, while "surrounded by her family and caregivers," according to a statement. She was 85.
[via New York Times]