Charlotte Rae, Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life, Dies at 92

Charlotte Rae, Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life, Dies at 92

Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky, she was best known for her role as beloved housemother Edna Garrett, who first appeared on "Diff'rent Strokes" in 1978 before earning her own spinoff, "The Facts of Life", the following year.

After leaving Facts in 1986, replaced by Cloris Leachman for the last two years of the show's run, Rae took a variety of voice and acting roles on shows ranging from the animated 101 Damations: The Series to ER to Girl Meets World. "I have this decision to make". She also appeared in movies, including "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" with Adam Sandler and "Ricki and the Flash" with Meryl Streep. "Last Monday, I found out I have bone cancer", she said in a statement.

Grammy Award winning comedian Kathy Griffin simply said: "Rest in peace Charlotte Rae".

Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee on 22 April 1926, Rae studied drama at Northwestern University before moving to NY where she found work doing satirical sketches in Greenwich Village clubs. Her other son, Andrew, died of a heart attack. The actress got recognized for the 1966 musical "Pickwick" and 1969 play "Morning, Noon and Night".

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

Charlotte also released a tell-all memoir in 2015 where she detailed her Hollywood experiences including her late husband John Strauss' bi-sexuality.


She earned her big break when she joined Lear's Diff'rent Strokes.

Rae stayed busy with film and stage appearances, including 1971's "Bananas" from Woody Allen and 1979's "Hair".

Kim Fields, who portrayed Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey on the hit sitcom, was one of the first to express her grief, writing on Twitter, "You all already know my heart is heavy yet.... sorry, no words at the moment just love and tears... and yeah, smiles...."

In 2013, Rae went public with an account of why her marriage to Strauss had ended in the mid-1970s after a quarter-century. Strauss died in 2011.

Charlotte is survived by her two children, Larry and Andrew Strauss, from her marriage to United States film composer John Strauss.

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