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Shirley Temple Black Remembered By Fellow Woodside Residents

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Shirley Temple Black

(Kevin Winter/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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WOODSIDE (CBS SF) - The iconic child star Shirley Temple – who passed away Monday at the age of 85 in Woodside – was remembered Monday in the Peninsula town where she had lived for decades.

According to a statement her family posted on her website, the beloved TV and film actress, who became Shirley Temple Black when she married, died peacefully at her home of natural causes.

“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 for fifty-five years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black,” the family wrote.

Temple Black started acting at age 3, and went on to star in dozens of films including “A Little Princess” and “Bright Eyes,” and as an adult became a U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and held other diplomatic posts.

She served as a past president of the Commonwealth Club of California and received many honors during her lifetime, including the Kennedy Center Honors in 1998 and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2006.

Woodside Mayor David Burow said Tuesday that Temple Black was visible in town over the years.

“We’ll obviously miss her,” he said. “She was a longtime resident of the town.”

Burow said it makes sense that Temple Black chose to make her home in the community of Woodside, which is nestled in the hills of San Mateo County near Interstate Highway 280.

“People come to Woodside to be anonymous,” he said. He noted that she mostly kept to herself, but was always social when stopping by local businesses, such as the grocery store Roberts Market.

Roberts Market owner George Roberts said Temple Black used to shop at the store often, but that in recent years her declining health kept her at home.

“She was wonderful,” he said. “A pleasant person.”

Roberts, who has lived in Woodside since 1960, remembered the star - known for her sparkling smile, dimples and wearing her hair in tight ringlets as a child – as personable and social.

“She would talk to anybody,” he said. “She was not above anything.”

He said Tuesday morning that word of her death spread quickly among shoppers and staff at the market.

Hundreds of online condolence notes were posted on Temple Black’s official website Tuesday morning.

In one post, a fan wrote, “Thank you for making the world smile during a time when there was little to smile about after the Depression and during the War. We also appreciate your diplomatic efforts. Godspeed Shirley.”

Burow said the town council was scheduled to recognize Temple Black’s passing at its meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

The actress’ family has asked for donations in her name to go to the Academy Museum in Los Angeles or the Commonwealth Club of California.

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