Shirley Temple rose to fame as one of the most successful child actresses of all time by singing and dancing her way to the top of the box office, lifting the spirits of millions of Americans suffering from the Great Depression. She was the top box office attraction for several years in the mid-1930s while still a youngster, before going on to become a diplomat.
On Wednesday, Google honored the renowned child star with an animated Doodle, commemorating the anniversary of the opening of Love, Shirley Temple, a unique exhibit displaying a collection of her unique artifacts, at the historical museum in her birthplace of Santa Monica, California, in 2015.
Temple, who was born in 1928, was encouraged to dance, sing, and act by her mother from an early age. She began dancing at the age of three and gained world popularity two years later for her role in Bright Eyes, a film in which she sang the soon-to-be song On the Good Ship Lollipop.
In musical-comedy-dramas created expressly for her, the dimpled and curly-haired moppet was frequently cast as the happy fix-it girl. Temple received a small, honorary Academy Award when she was six years old, recognizing her popularity.
She would go on to star in over 40 films, the most of which she made before the age of twelve, singing and tap-dancing with a range of well-known collaborators. Her most successful collaboration was with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, a 50-year-old Black performer. They collaborated on four films, including The Littlest Rebel (1935), a Civil War tale, and The Little Colonel (1935), which included the pair's iconic staircase tap dance number, with Temple matching Robinson step for step.
She continued to perform in films until she was in her late teens, including Kiss and Tell (1945) and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947), in which her character falls in love with Cary Grant. Her popularity as a child actor, however, did not last as she matured into a young adult, with cinema audiences unable to accept her in more mature parts, and she left the industry at the age of 22.
She'd return to the spotlight after marrying businessman Charles Black in 1950, becoming a prominent Republican fund-raiser after taking her new name of Shirley Temple Black. Her interest in politics was ignited when her husband rejoined the military during the Korean War, working as an intelligence officer in Washington.
After an unsuccessful run for Congress in 1967, Temple was appointed to be a delegate to the United Nations two years later by President Richard Nixon. She'd go on to serve as the US ambassador to Ghana, President Gerald Ford's chief of protocol and President George H. W. Bush's ambassador to Czechoslovakia.
For her service in government and entertainment, Temple received many awards and honors, including Kennedy Center Honors and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.
Temple died in 2014 at the age of 85.