Shirley Temple Black, the pudgy-cheeked child movie star who was a fount of gumption and cheer throughout the Great Depression, died Monday at the age of 85, a family spokesperson said in a statement. “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 of fifty-five years,” the statement said.
Even during some of the roughest financial times this country has ever seen, little Shirley Temple was able to put smiles on moviegoers’ faces with her trademark head of of 56 curls and those silver-bullet dimples. Before every big scene, her mother would tell her, “Sparkle, Shirley, sparkle!” And so Shirley Temple did. The only daughter of a Los Angeles banker and a housewife mother, Temple first broke into motion pictures at the tender age of 3, imitating popular stars of the day in hammy comedy shorts called Baby Burlesks. Just three years later, after the runaway hits Stand Up and Cheer and Bright Eyes, she became the youngest actor ever presented with an Oscar (albeit an honorary one). READ FULL STORY