‘Facts of Life’ Star Charlotte Rae Remembered as ‘Funny, Wise, Lovely’

Herb Ball  NBC  NBCU

Charlotte Rae, whose role as lovable house mother Mrs. Garrett on The Facts of Life charmed a TV generation, has died. A cause of death has not been released, but a year ago, Rae revealed she was battling cancer. She made her television debut in 1954, guest-starring on a number of shows before landing a role in 1979 on "Diff'rent Strokes".

Rae starred in the series for seven seasons as a kooky mentor to the students at a fictional all-girls boarding school.

According to TMZ, Rae also appeared in "The Love Boat", "101 Dalmatians: The Series", "Sesame Street", "Car 54, Where Are You?".

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". Now I have to figure out whether I want to go have treatment again or opt for life, ' she continued. The latter role earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy in 1982.

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".

The star leaves behind her two sons Larry and Andrew Strauss. The two were married for 25 years before they split. 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. Rae left after its seventh year, however, explaining later, "I needed some time for the rest of my life". You were loved by everyone on our show and you were loved by everyone on the facts of life will miss you. "I have this decision to make".

Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, on April 22, 1926, she had studied drama at Northwestern University, then moved to NY where, despite early plans to be a "serious" actress, she quickly found work doing satirical sketches in Greenwich Village clubs.

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