In more regrettable news this week, former child star and 20th century icon Shirley Temple has died at the age of 85. Her death was announced by her agent. Temple was considered by many to have been the original child star. She began her career in the 1930s and starred in her breakthrough film, 1934’s Stand Up and Cheer at the tender age of six. Before that, she had attended acting, dancing and singing classes and played bit parts in various educational films under her mother’s guidance.
Shirley Temple has Died Aged 85
She went on to star in a total of 43 films in the 1930s and 40s, including Curly Top and Bright Eyes, before she officially retired from acting at age 21. During this time, she married John Agar, an Air Corps sergeant (Shirley was 17 at the time) and the couple had a child together. The marriage soon ran into trouble and the two were divorced by 1950, with Temple retaining custody of the child. The divorce coincided with Temple’s retirement from Hollywood, following a string of unsuccessful films. This was far from the end of Shirley’s time in the spotlight, however.
After the end of her acting career, Temple went on to work in television for a while in the 1950s and she also married Charles Alden Black, a WWII United States Navy intelligence officer, with whom she went on to have a daughter. The couple stayed together until Black’s death in 2005. During this time, Temple nursed some political ambitions. She became active in the Republican Party in California. In 1967, she ran unsuccessfully in a special election in California's 11th congressional district. In 1969, she was appointed Representative to the United Nations General Assembly by Richard Nixon. Between 1974 and 1976 she served as the US Ambassador in Ghana. She was appointed first female Chief of Protocol of the United States in 1976 and was in charge of arrangements for President Jimmy Carter's inauguration and inaugural ball. Temple also served as the United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia between 1989 and 1992.
Having lived a full and exciting life, the actress-turned-politician died at home in Woodside, California, from natural causes. "She was surrounded by her family and caregivers," a statement, quoted by BBC News said.
The family statement continued: "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 for 55 years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black."