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Actress Shirley Temple passes away at the age of 85



Shirley Temple, the American actress, singer and dancer, has died at her home in California from natural causes.

Temple, who began her film career in 1932 at the age of three, was surrounded by her family and caregivers when she passed away.

The actress, who appeared in 43 feature films including Heidi, Bright Eyes and Curly Top, passed away at her home in Woodside, in California.

Her death comes more than 40 years after she survived a battle with breast cancer. She was diagnosed in 1972 and was one of the first prominent women to speak openly about the disease after announcing she had undergone an operation to remove the tumour in interviews on radio and television.

Temple was most famous for her appearances in films as a child, winning an Oscar in 1935 aged just six. Her box office popularity sliding as she became a teenager. She eventually retired completely from films in 1950 at the age of 22 years old.

However, she regularly made guest appearances on television shows and also sat on the boards of several corporations and organisations including The Walt Disney Company and the National Wildlife Federation.

In 1967 she ran unsuccessfully for the US congress and was appointed as the US Ambassador to Ghana in 1974 and then later to Czechoslovakia in 1989.

At the age of 17, Temple married John Agar, an Army Air Corps sergeant. The couple had a daughter together, Linda Susan, before they divorced in 1950. Temple later married Charles Black, a US Navy intelligence office, in 1950. They had a daugher, Lori, in 1954.

A statement from her agent said: "She was surrounded by her family and caregivers.

"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."

Richard Gray