Shirley Temple

Icons of the Century

This almost sinfully adorable, curly-haired, tap-dancing, bedimpled tot was acting by 3 and Hollywood’s top star by 8.

She almost single-handedly cheered up the nation during the Depression, beaming her way through more than 50 films, including “Bright Eyes,” where she warbled her trademark song “On the Good Ship Lollipop.”

Precocious doesn’t even begin to describe her immense talents as an actress, singer and dancer, even able to hold her own tap-dancing opposite Bill “Bojangles” Robinson in “The Little Colonel.”

The biggest child star in history — for whom the virgin cocktail was named, and Shirleys MacLaine and Jones — she remarkably dodged the pitfalls that befell so many others, instead retiring from films and then graciously graduating to a life of public service as ambassador to Ghana and the former Czechoslovakia.

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