Shirley Temple Black, the movie and television actress and former adorable curly-haired child star, has died at her home in California, her family said in a statement. She was 85.
Publicist Cheryl Kagan said Temple, known in private life as Shirley Temple Black, died Monday surrounded by family at her home near San Francisco.
Ms. Black returned to the spotlight in the 1960s in the surprising new role of diplomat, but in the popular imagination she would always be America’s darling of the Depression years, when in 23 motion pictures her sparkling personality and sunny optimism lifted spirits and made her famous. From 1935 to 1939 she was the most popular movie star in America, with Clark Gable a distant second. She received more mail than Greta Garbo and was photographed more often than President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
She retired from filmmaking at 22 and married Charles Black, changing her last name from Temple to Temple Black.
In 1972, Temple Black successfully battled breast cancer.
Funeral arrangements are pending. A remembrance guest book will be set up online at shirleytemple.com.