Shirley Temple Black, the precocious child star to end all child stars, died late Monday night. She was 85.
A publicist for the actress says Temple died of natural causes at her Woodside, Calif. home as she was surrounded by family and caregivers.
The young tap-dancing star with the perfect corkscrew curls and dimpled smile got her start during the 1930s, a time when much of America needed a pick-me-up to escape the reality of The Great Depression. Temple rose to fame with her role in War Babies as a part of the Baby Burlesks short films series.
During the height of her career, she was featured in more than 20 films and undoubtedly gained more popularity than old Hollywood talents such as Clark Gable and Greta Garbo. By the age of 10, her asking salary was $50,000 per movie.
While she starred alongside Hattie McDaniel, James Dunn, Adolphe Menjou, Jack Haley, Buddy Ebsen and others, it was her partnership with legendary entertainer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson over four films that stood out among the rest.
Despite their 50-year age difference and racial tensions in America, Temple noted Robinson as her favorite co-star.
After marrying Charles Black, Temple eventually stepped away from the spotlight and carved out a career as a foreign diplomat. Per CNN, she served in the U.S. delegation to the United Nations from 1969 to 1974, was U.S. ambassador to Ghana from 1974 to 1976 and U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992.
Temple's professional credits included Red Haired Alibi, Out All Night, Curly Top, Heidi, Stand Up And Cheer!, Little Miss Marker, Bright Eyes and more.
Funeral arrangements for Temple are pending.
(Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)