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General Mills offers glimpse into past with Shirley Temple tribute

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Golden Valley-based General Mills is honoring the memory of former child star Shirley Temple Black with a look back at her time as a "spokeskid" for the company in the 1930s.

Temple Black died Monday. She was 85.

The Taste of General Mills blog Thursday featured several images of the child star as she promoted Wheaties and Bisquick.

Temple Black appeared on 12 Wheaties boxes, second only to NBA legend Michael Jordan, the blog says.

The company says Temple Black was also featured in a series of 10 collectible images on the back of Wheaties boxes in 1936 at the height of "Shirley Mania."

All images: General Mills

Temple Black was also involved in a 1935 campaign where grocers would give shoppers a child-sized blue glass mug with the actress' face on it if they purchased a large box of Bisquick.

The company says the mug promotion was part of a campaign to encourage kids to drink milk.

Former WCCO Radio personality and "A Prairie Home Companion" voice actor Tim Russell also recalled an interview he did with Temple Black as an adult.

Russell tweeted a photo of him and the actress-turned-political ambassador, which was taken in 1988 when Temple Black was promoting her book "Child Star."

The Los Angeles Times also has a list of 10 things to know about the "Curly Top" actress. Among the facts: Temple Black was nearly cast in the iconic film "The Wizard of Oz," but the role went instead to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, native Judy Garland.

The Times says there are a couple different accounts as to why Temple Black didn't get the role. One claim is that MGM felt the actress' voice was inferior to Garland's; the other claims the actress' studio, 20th Century Fox, wouldn't loan her to MGM.

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