‘Facts of Life’ actress Charlotte Rae dies at 92

This week, we honor the life of Charlotte Rae, born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky, who brought joy, and wisdom as Mrs. Garrett in "Diff'rent Strokes" and the subsequent "The Facts of Life".

In an interview with HuffPost in 2016, Rae said she never got exhausted of hearing people yell "Mrs. Garrett!" whenever they saw her.

Rae beat pancreatic cancer around 2010 and was diagnosed with bone cancer seven years later.

She originated the role in 1978 on another situation comedy, "Diff'rent Strokes", and her character proved so popular that "The Facts of Life" was created as a spinoff for her, also on the NBC network.

Charlotte Rae, who brought wisdom and wackiness in equal measure as the matriarch in the 80's sitcom "The Facts of Life", has died.

Rae earned an Emmy Award nomination in 1982 for her role as Edna Garrett on "The Facts of Life", a series built around young actresses Lisa Whelchel, Nancy McKeon, Kim Fields and Mindy Cohn but held together by show business veteran Rae.

Rae gained fame on TV but she made her name as a thespian in the 1950s in such stage in roles ranging from "The Threepenny Opera" to "Li'l Abner".


'So now, at the age of 91, I have to make up my mind.

"It's with a heavy heart and lots of tears (but a smile as I think of her) that I now move through the world without this incredible force of a woman being in it", Cohn said on Instagram.

As news of her death spread, her famous friends grieved along with her fans.

"The Facts of Life" debuted in 1979 and centered around Mrs. Garrett's relationship with a group of girls she met in the season 1 finale of "Diff'rent Strokes". She co-wrote her autobiography, "The Facts of Life", with one of her two sons. "Nobody even knew", she said. She also played on the 1960s sitcom vehicle 54, Where Are You? and was Molly the Mail Lady in early episodes of Sesame Street. 'My mother, sister, and my uncle died of pancreatic cancer.

Charlotte is survived by her two children, Larry and Andrew Strauss, from her marriage to USA film composer John Strauss. You were loved by everyone on our show and you were loved by everyone on the facts of life will miss you.

"['Diff'rent Strokes"] would not have been the same without you #CharlotteRae", actor Todd Bridges posted on Twitter.

A 1958 publicity photo heralds Charlotte Rae's appearance in a variety show at Chicago's Empire Room.

  • Gwendolyn Kim