Charlotte Rae, Beloved Mrs. Garrett On ‘Facts Of Life,’ Dead At 92

Charlotte Rae

Spokesman Harlan Boll said Rae died Sunday at her Los Angeles home.

Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, on April 22, 1926, the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, 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.

In her role, Rae played the house mother at the Eastland School for Girls on The Facts of Life, in a role that earned her an Emmy nomination in 1982. (Jessica Biel and Leonardo DiCaprio are now eyeing a reboot of the series.) Rae earned an Emmy nomination in 1982 for her performance in the series but lost to Carol Kane for Taxi.

She played Edna Garrett in "Diff'rent Strokes" and then on the beloved spinoff "The Facts of Life". She has 93 acting credits to her name, according to TMZ.

"I wanted to be a serious actress and do all the classics", Rae told the Sun-Times in 1989.

She was married to composer John Strauss, with whom she had two sons. "No, no, no! If people had a positive experience with Mrs. Garrett, that makes me so happy!"

She received Tony nominations in 1966 for "Pickwick" and in 1969 for "Morning, Noon and Night".

Rae's big showbiz break came in 1978, when television producer Norman Lear cast her in the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes.

After "Facts", Rae stayed busy with film and stage appearances.

During her Northwestern years, she performed in the school's annual musical comedy revue known as the Waa-Mu Show and moonlighted on the Chicago-based radio soap opera "Pepper Young's Family".

In addition to Rae's son Larry and his wife, Eleanor, survivors include her sister Miriam, and grandchildren Sean, Carly, and Nora.

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...."

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