Charlotte Rae Dies: House Mother On ‘The Facts Of Life’ Was 92

Charlotte Rae Dies: House Mother On ‘The Facts Of Life’ Was 92

Charlotte Rae, best known for starring as the lovable house mother, Edna Garrett on the NBC sitcom, The Facts of Life, died Sunday in Los Angeles.

Rae revealed past year that she was diagnosed with bone cancer. When she announced her diagnosis, she admitted that she was first diagnosed with the pancreatic cancer seven years earlier, but was able to go into remission after chemotherapy treatments without the public knowing.

Charlotte Rae originated the character of Mrs. Garrett in 1978 during the first season of NBC's comedy "Diff'rent Strokes", then took Mrs. Garrett with her for the spinoff "The Facts of Life", which premiered the following season.

Off-stage and off-screen, Charlotte's life was a rich mixture of joy and heartbreak that included a 25 year marriage to and creative partnership with legendary composer and music editor and supervisor, John Strausswith whom she had two sons, Andy Strauss (who died in 1999) and Larry Strauss with whom she wrote her memoir, The Facts of My Life, in 2015. "I'm not in any pain right now", she explained at the time.

Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rae started out in local theatre and radio before landing her big TV break as Sylvia Schnauser on the classic comedy auto 54, Where Are You? In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the, The Actors Fund, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (Pan-Can) or the Clare Foundation. A cause of death was not provided. I lost my hair, but I had handsome wigs.

Her new sitcom was focused around a girl's boarding school and their loving housekeeper Mrs. Garrett.

Due to health reasons, Charlotte left the show in 1986 and actress Cloris Leachman stepped in as her character before the series was cancelled two years later.

After taking some time away from the spotlight, the actress went on to appear as a guest in many other movies and television series including ER, Don't Mess With The Zohan, The King Of Queens and even Pretty Little Liars. Her last TV credit was a 2015 episode of Girl Meets World.

In 2011, The Facts of Life cast reunited as part of the TV Land Awards, and Rae won the Pop Icon award, being honored by speeches from Facts co-stars Kim Fields and Nancy McKeon.

She is survived by a sister, her son Larry, three grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

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