Charlotte Rae, who starred as Mrs. Garrett in ‘The Facts Of Life’ has sadly died at the age of 92, a rep confirmed on Aug. 5. The actress, who is best known for her role as the beloved Mrs. Garrett on The Facts of Life, passed away in her Los Angeles home. Her cause of death has not been confirmed, but in 2017, she did reveal that she was suffering from pancreatic and bone cancer. When she announced her diagnosis, she admitted that she was first diagnosed with the pancreatic cancer seven years earlier, but was able to go into remission after chemotherapy treatments without the public knowing.
When the cancer came back when she was 91, she decided to opt out of treatment and live the rest of her life to the fullest. “I’m not in any pain right now,” she explained at the time. “I’m feeling so terrific and so glad to be above ground. Now I have to figure out if I want to go have treatment again or opt for life. 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 got her start in show biz through radio and theater, and broke into television acting on Car 53, Where Are You? However, her big break was on Diff’rent Strokes in 1978. In 1979, she was cast as the beloved Edna Garrett on the show The Facts of Life, and she stayed on until 1986 (the show was cancelled two years later). Mrs. Garrett was the house mother at an all-girls’ boarding school, and helped the students through some of the toughest moments of their lives.
In the years since, Charlotte continued to act, with roles on shows like Pretty Little Liars, ER and The King of Queens. She had two sons, Larry and Andrew, with her ex-husband, John Strauss, who she divorced in 1976 after he came out as bi-sexual. John died in 2011.
Our thoughts are with Charlotte’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.