'Facts of Life' Star Charlotte Rae Dies at 92

Charlotte Rae, best known for starring as the lovable house mother, Edna Garrett on the NBC sitcom, The Facts of Life, died Sunday in Los Angeles. She was 92.

Charlotte Rae Getty
Charlotte Rae and Kim Fields on The Facts of Life. (Photo: NBC Television/Getty Images)

According to Deadline, Rae confirmed she had bone and pancreatic cancer last year. However, her representatives did not give a cause of death.

Rae began her career in theater, earning Tony nominations for her performances in Morning Noon and Night and Pickwick on Broadway. Rae also earned an Emmy nomination for her role in the 1975 special Queen of the Stardust Ballroom.

She earned her big break when she joined Lear's Diff'rent Strokes. Her character was originally a housekeeper, but her role was expanded when she became the focal point of a spin-off, The Facts of Life.

In that series, she served as the house mother at a girls' boarding school. Before she left the show in 1986 due to health problems, she earned an Emmy nomination in 1982.

Health problems never slowed Rae down though. She continued making guest appearances on TV and taking small roles in films. She racked up over 90 credits across six decades, making her final appearance in the 2015 Meryl Streep movie Ricki and the Flash.

Rae also appeared in episodes of ER, Life, Pretty Little Liars, Girl Meets World, The King of Queens, The Brothers Flub and Diagnosis Murder. Even while appearing on The Facts of Life, she also appeared on The Love Boat, playing three different roles in four episodes between 1982 and 1985.

According to Entertainment Tonight, Rae is survived by her sister, Miriam Guten, and her son, Larry. Her other son, Andrew, died of a heart attack. Her ex-husband, composer John Strauss, died in 2011 after a battle with Parkinson's. The two were married for 25 years before they split.

In 2015, Rae opened up about her career in a memoir, The Facts of My Life.

In an interview with HuffPost in 2016, Rae said she never got tired of hearing people yell "Mrs. Garrett!" whenever they saw her.


"I remember coming up the stairs of the subway at 77nd Street, and I bumped into this big, tall, handsome guy," Rae recalled. "I looked at him, and then we embraced each other without saying a word. And then he went down to the subway. So, I love it all. I don't mind it. No, no, no! If people had a positive experience with Mrs. Garrett, that makes me so happy!"

Photo credit: NBC Television/Getty Images