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A Look Back: Shirley Temple's Life in Photos

From iconic child star to political activist, PEOPLE honors the legacy of the curly-haired cutie

A STAR IS BORN

The curly hair! The dimples! The infectious grin! Shirley Temple, born April 23, 1928, kicked off her career at age 3, starring in a series of 1932 shorts called Baby Burlesks. The bit parts jump-started what would become a memorable career in Hollywood, during which she was the top box-office draw from 1935 to 1938, besting such stars as Clark Gable. Ranked among the American Film Institute's top 20 screen legends, Temple passed away at age 85 on Feb. 10.