The actress, who went on to become a US diplomat, was recognisable to generations of people around the world.
Whoopi Goldberg said yesterday: "The Good Ship Lollipop has sailed today with Shirley Temple aboard - a true one of a kind."
Actress Olivia Munn said: "The world is so much brighter because you were in it."
Mia Farrow tweeted: "Little Shirley Temple raised the spirits of a nation during the Great Depression. RIP."
And actress Kristin Chenoweth praised her as a "legendary child star and wonderful diplomat."
The Czech government said she became one of the symbols of the country's newly won freedom when she served as the US ambassador in Prague from 1989 until 1992.
"With her charm and openness, she greatly contributed to the renovation of an old friendship of our countries and nations," the Czech Foreign Ministry said
Her family said: "We announce with great sadness that Shirley Temple Black, former child star and forever 'America's little darling', peacefully passed away at her Woodside, California, home from natural causes."