Charlotte Rae Dead: ‘The Facts Of Life’ Star Sadly Dies At 92

Brenda Watkins
August 6, 2018

After starring in "The Facts of Life" from 1979 to 1986, she left the show to return to the stage.

The actress, whose career on screen and stage spanned more than six decades, charmed audiences as housemother Edna Garrett on the show, a spinoff of "Diff'rent Strokes". Rae won a Prime Time Emmy Award nomination for the role in 1982. 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.

In addition to acting, Rae was an accomplished singer and dancer.

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.

Viewers quickly fell in love with Mrs. Garrett, who also served as a wise yet sharp-tongued mentor to the young women on "The Facts of Life". As she wrote in her 2015 memoir, "The Facts of My Life", co-written with her son Larry, she struggled with alcoholism when her husband came out as bisexual and revealed he had been cheating on her with other men. So, I love it all.

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"Sorry, no words at the moment just love and tears... and yeah, smiles", tweeted Fields, who portrayed Tootie. "I don't want her to be Polly Perfect, because she must have human failings and make mistakes". Andy died in his mid-40s of a heart attack in 1999.

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 vehicle 54, Where Are You?

She received Tony nominations in 1966 for "Pickwick" and in 1969 for "Morning, Noon and Night".

In addition to son Larry, she is survived by sister Miriam Guten and three grandchildren. The couple divorced in 1976 but remained friends, and she supported him through his long battle with Parkinson's disease, which ended with his death in 2011.

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