Shirley Temple, the child actress who became one of the most popular movie stars of the 1930s, has died at the age of 85.

Publicist Cheryl Kagan told the Associated Press that Temple, known in her private life as Shirley Temple Black, died surrounded by family at her home in Woodside, Calif., near San Francisco.

Born in 1928 in Santa Monica, Calif., Temple got her start in show business by performing in a series of one-reel feature film spoofs called "Baby Burlesks" for $10 per day. 

In 1934, 20th Century Fox signed Temple to a seven-year contract that paid her $150 per week. She went on to star in films like "Stand Up and Cheer!" "Baby Take A Bow," and "Bright Eyes." By the end of the year, Temple's pay had been upped to more than $1,250 per week. 

Between 1935 and 1938, Temple was America's top box-office draw, and was credited with saving 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy. 

Temple blossomed into a pretty young woman, but audiences lost interest, and she retired from films at 21. She raised a family and later became active in politics and held several diplomatic posts in Republican administrations, including ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the historic collapse of communism in 1989.

"I have one piece of advice for those of you who want to receive the lifetime achievement award. Start early," she quipped in 2006 as she was honored by the Screen Actors Guild.

But she also said that evening that her greatest roles were as wife, mother and grandmother. "There's nothing like real love. Nothing." Her husband of more than 50 years, Charles Black, had died just a few months earlier.

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