Charlotte Rae Dead - Mrs. Garrett on 'Facts of Life' Dies at 92

Oscar Cross
August 7, 2018

Though a cause of death has not yet been disclosed, Rae revealed in 2017 that she had been diagnosed with bone cancer.

She first appeared as Edna Garrett on "Diff'rent Strokes" in 1978 before earning her own spinoff, "The Facts of Life", the following year.

"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". The two were married for 25 years before they split.

The project is in early talks, but it's a fact of life that Charlotte Rae is irreplaceable.

Mindy Cohn and Kim Fields, who played members of Mrs Garrett's brood, paid tribute to Rae.

She starred in the TV comedy "Car 54, Where Are You?" in the early '60s.

Rae, who resurfaced in 2001's The Facts of Life Reunion, was also an Emmy-nominated performer thanks to 1975's Queen of the Stardust Ballroom.


Rae recorded an album, Songs I Taught My Mother, in 1955.

Rae acted well into her 80s and appeared on the big screen as recently as 2015, alongside Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Rick Springfield in "Ricki and the Flash". A recovering alcoholic, she got sober with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. In it, she wrote plainly about her struggles with alcoholism, raising an autistic son, and on her husband, John Strauss, coming out as bi-sexual. Appian Way, the company run by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson, is in negotiations to executive produce a reboot of The Facts of Life alongside Jessica Biel's Iron Ocean Films, according to Deadline. Andy died in his mid-40s of a heart attack in 1999. "I've had a great life, but I have so many wonderful things happening", she said a year ago.

"I'm feeling so terrific and so glad to be above ground", she explained. "I want to tell everybody to celebrate every day, to savor the day, and be good to yourself, love yourself, and then you can be good to others and be of service to others". "I'm grateful for the life I've already had". She was my champion, a teacher, a proud example of the tenacity and perseverance needed to live an actor's life.

Rae's fans and former co-stars were among those mourning her death.

Our thoughts are with Charlotte's loved ones at this time.

Charlotte Rae remained close with her TV co-stars in the decades following Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.

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