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Shirley Temple, Legendary Child Actress of 1930s Hollywood, Dies

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Shirley Temple Black, the child star who lifted the spirits of American movie audiences during the Great Depression of the 1930s, has died at the age of 85.

Temple Black passed away late Monday night at her home of natural causes near San Francisco, according to a statement released by the family.

As a child actress, the curly haired, dimpled faced Shirley Temple charmed America with her singing and dancing in numerous light-hearted films. She became an icon of American cinema largely through her rendition of the song "On the Good Ship Lollipop" and a tap dancing routine with legendary African-American dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in "The Little Colonel."

She received a special Academy Award in 1935 for her "outstanding contribution to screen entertainment." Temple retired from acting in 1949 at the age of 21.

She spent several years out of the spotlight, marrying her second husband Charles Black in 1950 and becoming active in the Republican Party. She launched her second career as a diplomat in 1969, when President Richard Nixon appointed her to the U.S. delegation to the United Nations. She went on to serve as U.S. ambassador to Ghana in the 1970s, and ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1989, just as communist rule collapsed across Eastern Europe.

Her husband Charles Black died in 2005.

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