Charlotte Rae, the actress best known as the matriarch of the NBC boarding school sitcom "The Facts of Life", was remembered Sunday by colleagues and fans as a warm, funny, and versatile pro. Rae revealed past year that she had bone and pancreatic cancer, but a cause of death was not immediately revealed. 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 played the beloved TV character until 1986, when health reasons forced her to step down.
Mrs. Garrett began on the show "Diff'rent Strokes" (1978-84.) She also briefly reprised the role on the shore-lived "Hello, Larry".
The actress' career spanned six decades. I love life. I've had a wonderful one already.
Former "Facts of Life" co-stars Kim Fields and Mindy Cohn expressed their sadness at Rae's passing on Twitter. 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.
The actress was nominated for two Tony awards and received an an Emmy nomination in 1975 and again in 1982.
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. 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.
"Sorry, no words at the moment just love and tears... and yeah, smiles".
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!"
In an interview with HuffPost in 2016, Rae said she never got exhausted of hearing people yell "Mrs. Garrett!" whenever they saw her.