Shirley Temple, the original Hollywood child star who was instantly recognisable by her curls and dimples, has died at the age of 85.

Her agent said the actress and former US diplomat died peacefully of natural causes at her Woodside, California, home surrounded by family and caregivers today (Monday US time).

"We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and... our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother," her family said in a statement.

Temple began her film career in 1932 at the age of 3 and starred in films such as Bright Eyes, Stand Up and Cheer and Curly Top.


She retired from fulltime acting at the age of 22 and later, as Shirley Temple Black, enjoyed a successful career as a top US diplomat.