Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Culture | By Jeremy Gray

‘Facts of Life’ actress Charlotte Rae dies at 92

‘Facts of Life’ actress Charlotte Rae dies at 92

The actress, who is best known for her role as the beloved Mrs. Garrett on The Facts of Life, passed away in her Los Angeles home.

Rae revealed a year ago that she was diagnosed with bone cancer.

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.

Her longtime publicist, B. Harlan Boll, said Rae had a 25-year marriage to legendary composer and music editor and supervisor, John Strauss, They 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.

The Tony and Emmy nominated actress appeared on the popular 1980s sitcom The Facts of Life for almost 10 years, sharing her personal struggles with the writers for the show to keep things realistic.

Stage work was a passion for Rae, who in NY had appeared in a landmark production of Kurt Weill's "Threepenny Opera" and as Mammy Yokum in the hit musical "L'il Abner".

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Rae continued to work late into her career, earning roles on hit television shows like "ER", "The King of Queens", and "Murder, She Wrote".

She was born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky, April 22, 1926, in Milwaukee. I'm feeling so terrific and so glad to be above ground. A cause of death was not immediately provided. My mother, sister, and my uncle died of pancreatic cancer.

"I had attractive wigs", Rae said. Rae left after its seventh year, however, explaining later, "I needed some time for the rest of my life". In 1979, she was cast as the beloved Edna Garrett on the show The Facts of Life, and she stayed on until 1986 (the show was cancelled two years later). She also appeared in movies, including "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" with Adam Sandler and "Ricki and the Flash" with Meryl Streep. "If you saw it, you remember her reaching for Treat Williams".

Earlier this week, it was reported that Sony Pictures Television is in the very early stages of developing a Facts of Life reboot.

In addition to Rae's son Larry and his wife, Eleanor, survivors include her sister Miriam, and grandchildren Sean, Carly, and Nora.

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