Shirley Temple Black poses with the Screen Actors Guild Award's 42nd annual life achievement award.
Hollywood's actors' union has honoured legendary child star Shirley Temple Black with a special award for a career that took her from curly-topped film icon to US diplomat.
The most famous child star of all time, now 77, received the Screen Actors' Guild Life Achievement Award as a tribute to her work in dozens of films and her decades-long commitment to humanitarian causes.
As a precocious toddler who sang and danced, Temple made her first movie in 1932 after a director spotted her in dance class, and would cheer up America at the height of the gruelling Depression of the 1930s.
"I have one piece of advice for those of you who want to receive the lifetime achievement award: Start early," Black said after receiving the honour in Los Angeles from child actress Dakota Fanning and Jamie Lee Curtis.
"I've been blessed with three wonderful careers - motion pictures and television, wife, mother and grandmother, and diplomatic services for the United States government," she told the audience at a ceremony in Los Angeles.
Temple was born on April 23, 1928 in Los Angeles and made her screen debut in 1932's What's to Do, becoming a national phenomenon before going on to appear in about 40 films before she turned 12.
She appeared in 10 films in 1934 alone, including Little Miss Marker, Baby Take a Bow and Bright Eyes, which made her famous for her rendition of the song On the Good Ship Lollipop.
In 1935, she received the first Juvenile Academy Award and continued to appears in such hits as Curly Top and Heidi until her career began to slow when she began growing up.
She made her last picture, The Story of Seabiscuit, in 1949 when she was 21, when she retired from acting, bar a short spell in television.
She married actor John Agar in 1945, with whom she had a daughter before the pair divorced in 1948.
She then wed marine entrepreneur Charles Black in 1950 after he revealed he had never seen any of her movies, and that marriage lasted until his death in August last year.
In 1967 she made an unsuccessful bid for Congress, and two years later, then US president Richard Nixon appointed her as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.
She was named US ambassador to Ghana in 1974, became the first woman to hold the position of White House Chief of Protocol in 1976 and was ambassador to the then Czechoslovakia from 1989-92.
But despite her remarkable life and career, she told reporters that her most satisfying accomplishment was that of being a wife and mother. "There's nothing like real love," she said.