Mrs. Garrett from 'Facts of Life' dies at 92

Junie Sihlangu
Aug 06, 2018
07:41 A.M.

Actress Charlotte Rae died on Sunday at her home in Los Angeles. She had been battling bone cancer since April last year.


According to Entertainment Weekly, the star was 92 years old and her cause of death wasn’t released. She is best known for her roles on Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.

Charlotte Rae was known for her role as the wise and lovable housekeeper Mrs Edna Garrett on Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life. Last April, she’d revealed her diagnosis with bone cancer.

Rae’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis

In a statement at the time she said, “About seven years ago, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — which is a miracle that they found it because usually, it’s too late. My mother, sister, and my uncle died of pancreatic cancer.”


For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. She shared that after 6 months of chemotherapy, she was declared cancer-free.

Her subsequent bone cancer diagnosis

The actress lost her hair but substituted with wigs and nobody knew. “So now, at the age of 91, I have to make up my mind. I’m not in any pain right now,” Rae said.

“I love life. I’ve had a wonderful one already … I’ve had a great life, but I have so many wonderful things happening. I’d like to choose life. I’m grateful for the life I’ve already had.”

Charlotte Rae, Entertainment Weekly, August 5, 2018


She shared that she felt terrific and happy to be alive. The star then revealed that she now had to figure out whether she wanted to go through the treatment again or “opt for life.”


Her acting background

The star was born as Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She started off her career doing theater and radio where she was told to drop her last name.


Her break into television came when she played Sylvia Schnauser, the wife of Al Lewis’ Officer Leo Schnauser on Car 54, Where Are You? In 1978, Norman Lear, a longtime fan, cast her in Diff’rent Strokes, and that’s when Rae’s career took off.


Her character was so popular that a spin-off called The Facts of Life was made. It was a sitcom about a girls’ boarding school and their house mother played by Rae.


Garrett guided the girls through depression to dating, AIDS to alcohol, and more. Rae left the show in 1986 for health reasons, and the show was canceled two years later.


Her other acting credits

Rae guest-starred on TV shows like ER, Pretty Little Liars, Sisters, The Love Boat, Sesame Street, The Phil Silvers Show, Girl Meets World, and The King of Queens to name a few. She also appeared in movies such as Don’t Mess with the Zohan and Tom and Jerry: The Movie.

Her final regular work was voicing ‘Nanny’ in the animated 101 Dalmatians: The Series, which aired from 1997 to 1998. She had a total of 93 acting credits to her name.

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