Charlotte Rae, Mrs. Garrett on Facts of Life, dies at 92

Charlotte Rae, Mrs. Garrett on Facts of Life, dies at 92

Her work on the small screen included a year with the Muppets on Sesame Street, as well as seasons on the ground-breaking Hot L Baltimore, Rich Little's variety show and then a season on Different Strokes on which she created Mrs. Garrett who spun off into the iconic house mother on The Facts of Life-a hit show that earned her an Emmy nomination and launched the careers of writer/director Paul Haggis and global star George Clooney.

In 2017 Rae was diagnosed with bone cancer, seven years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

During her first cancer battle, the actress went through gruelling chemotherapy and lost all her hair, but ended up beating the cancer.

"I had lovely wigs", Rae said.

"At the age of 91, I have to make up my mind".

"I'm feeling so terrific and so glad to be above ground", she explained. "Now I have to figure out whether I want to go have treatment again to opt for life". I'd like to choose life.

Rae published her autobiography, The Facts of My Life, the same year, co-written with her son, Larry Strauss.

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"I love life. I've had a wonderful one already ... I'm grateful for the life I've already had".

Industry notables also expressed their appreciation for Rae and her role as the no-nonsense but gentle house mother on "The Facts of Life". "If you saw it, you remember her reaching for Treat Williams".

Rae made numerous TV appearances in 1950s drama anthologies including "The U.S. Steel Hour", "Playhouse 90" and "Armstrong Circle Theater", sharing the black-and-white screen with such actors as Zero Mostel, Art Carney and Gertrude Berg. The latter role earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy in 1982.

Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky, the actress grew up in Milwaukee and later attended Northwestern University - studying alongside a slew of acting greats, such as Charlton Heston and Paul Lynde.

Most recently, she appeared on Pretty Little Liars in 2011 and an episode of Girl Meets World in 2014, followed by a role in the Meryl Streep musical dramedy Ricki and the Flash in 2015.

Sony Pictures Television now controls the distribution rights to the NBC show which ran from 1979-1988 show.

Rae had survived a bout with pancreatic cancer in 2009, having caught the disease early following the deaths of her mother, uncle and sister to the disease.

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