- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple Black, one of America’s most beloved of actresses, singers and dancers, died at the age of 85, surrounded by friends, family and caretakers.

She passed away late Monday night, her family said in a statement, The Associated Press reported.

Ms. Temple’s career began at age 3, and she went on to become one of the most famous child Hollywood stars ever. She left the film business in 1949, however, after leaving her mark on such movies as “Bright Eyes,” “Heidi” and “Curly Top,” The Guardian in London reported.

She married twice — to John Agar in 1945, when she was 17 years old, and to Charles Alden Black in 1950, whom she was with until his death in 2005. She is survived by three children, a granddaughter and two great granddaughters.

Ms. Temple won a special Academy Award in 1935 for her “outstanding contribution to screen entertainment,” the award stated. And actor Martin Landau said of her, during an Academy Awards presentation in 1998, that she was “a legacy of a different time in motion pictures. She caught the imagination of the entire country in a way that no one had before,” Fox News reported.

By the early 1960s, she retired from entertainment — but then turned to politics,

Ms. Temple ran for Congress in 1967 as a Republican but lost. President Richard Nixon appointed her as a member of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. General Assembly in 1969, and in the 1970s, she served as U.S. ambassador to Ghana, followed by U.S. chief of protocol, Fox News said.

Under the first President Bush, she then worked as an ambassador to Czechoslovakia.

“My main job, initially, was human rights, trying to keep people like future President Vaclav Havel out of jail,” Ms. Temple said in a 1999 interview with The Associated Press.

She never considered her political work at odds with her early entertainment career.

“Politicians are actors too, don’t you think? Usually, if you like people and you’re outgoing, not a shy little thing, you can do pretty well in politics,” Ms. Temple once said, Fox News reported.

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