Former child star Shirley Temple's "official" account has been exposed as a fake.

Fans were stunned when the 84-year-old beloved screen legend appeared to join the social networking site under the handle @TempleShirleyJ last week (ends27Jan13).

The account quickly picked up thousands of followers, but a representative for Legend Films, which has released restored versions of Temple's movies, insists the page is bogus.

The spokesperson tells the New York Post gossip column Page Six, "This Twitter account that supposedly belonged to Shirley Temple was never real. Someone's Twitter was hacked where the hacker was posing as Shirley. This account has since been shut down."