By: Alex Spindler ~Staff Writer~
The unequivocally renowned child star of cinema, Shirley Temple Black, passed away Monday evening at the age of 85.
Noted for such films as “Curly Top,” “Heidi” and “The Little Princess,” Temple dominated the film industry with her trademark dimples, impressive acting range and charismatic presence.
Earning close to $3 million in revenue before the age of 10, Black overshadowed other screen legends such as Clark Gable and Katharine Hepburn in popularity.
She paved the way for studios to hire other child performers like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney.
After retiring from the entertainment industry at 22, Black traded tap shoes for diplomatic pursuits, serving as a good-will ambassador to Czechoslovakia and Ghana in addition to her Republican influence in the United Nations.
Her marriage to Charles Alden Black solidified her decision to leave the limelight when she took his name.
Black also became an outspoken advocate for breast cancer awareness after she was diagnosed in 1972.
Her landmark decision to announce her diagnosis publically was unheard of in a time when severe illness was not discussed in the mainstream media.
Black represents another link lost to the golden era of cinema that is gone forever.
The public not only loses a childhood influence but a beacon for peace and a great humanitarian.
Shirley Temple Black will surely be missed.