Shirley Temple Dies, Grief-Stricken Fans Flood Twitter

(Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)Actress and former diplomat, Shirley Temple Black, 77, accepts the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award at the 12th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 29, 2006.

Shirley Temple, the iconic child star who rose to fame with her ringlet curls in the 1930s, died at age 85 on Monday night.

The actress, known today as her married name Shirley Temple Black, "peacefully passed away" at her home in Santa Barbara, Calif. from natural causes, according to Reuters via a family spokeswoman. 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 of fifty-five years," the statement said.

Temple landed her first role at the age of three in 1932, and then two years later, the actress earned international fame with the film "Bright Eyes." Hit films such as "Curly Top" and "Heidi" followed, as well as a variety of licensed merchandise that profited greatly from Temple's popularity and wholesome image.

Although her acting career slowed in her teens and she retired from films entirely at age 22, Temple went on to become a U.S. Ambassador to Ghana in 1974 and to Czechoslovakia in 1989. The actress also received acclaim for her autobiography, "Child Star."

The former face of Quaker Puffed Wheat, Sperry Drifted Show Flour and a slew of other companies also had a drink named after her- The Shirley Temple cocktail consists of ginger ale with a splash of grenadine garnished with a maraschino cherry.

Temple leaves behind a daughter from her first marriage, Linda, as well as two children from her second marriage, Charles and Lori. Temple and her husband, Charles Alden Black, were married for 54 years before his death in 2005.

Following news of Temple's death on Feb. 10, Twitter was flooded with messages from adoring fans, including from actress/talk show host Whoopi Goldberg.

"The Good Ship Lollypop has sailed today with Shirley Temple aboard a true 1 of a kind," she wrote on Twitter. "If you don't know her… google or YouTube her. RIP."

Actress Mia Farrow added, "Little Shirley Temple raised the spirits of a nation during the Great Depression RIP."

Another Twitter user Kimberly posted, "Farewell to a woman of grace. Thanks for the innocent childhood memories #ShirleyTemple"