Charlotte Rae, 'Facts of Life' Star, Dead at 92

Deanna Kelley
August 6, 2018

A spokesman for Charlotte Rae, who played a wise and caring housemother to a brood of teenage girls on the long-running sitcom "The Facts of Life", says the actress has died. Rae revealed a year ago that she had bone and pancreatic cancer, but a cause of death was not immediately revealed. The actress had previously been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The next year the character was spun off into a series of her own: "The Facts of Life", set at a boarding school where Mrs. Garrett was the house mother, mentoring the girls on their adolescent issues.

Rae starred as the Drummond family's kooky housekeeper, Edna Garrett, on "Different Strokes" which led to a very successful spinoff: "Facts of Life".

While Rae was best known for her work on the small screen, she also managed to score two Tony noms for parts she played on Broadway.

Her career spanned more than 60 years, with appearances on stage, classic TV series like "Playhouse 90" and more. She played "the Twitch" and other iconic comic television roles on the Phil Silver's Show and created the role of Sylvia Schnauzer on TV's classic, auto 54 Where Are You?

Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky on April 22, 1926, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rae attended Northwestern University, where she met many future stars, including Agnes Nixon, Charlton Heston, Paul Lynde, and Cloris Leachman, who would become a good friend.

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"I'm feeling so terrific and so glad to be above ground", she explained.

Donations may be made to the The Actors Fund, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (Pan-Can) or the Clare Foundation.

"I had handsome wigs", Rae said. Her death was confirmed by Fox News. "I love life. I've had a wonderful one already." she continued.

Upon hearing the news, stars including Kathy Griffin, Audra McDonald, Eric West and co-star Todd Bridges have been quick to send their love. She also appeared in movies, including "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" with Adam Sandler and "Ricki and the Flash" with Meryl Streep.

According to Deadline, a reboot of "The Facts of Life" is in early stages at Sony Pictures TV.

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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