Charlotte Rae, who played a wise and patient housemother to a brood of teenage girls on the long-running sitcom "The Facts of Life" during a career that encompassed many other TV roles as well as stage and film appearances, has died. 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.
She previously battled pancreatic cancer in private, telling the outlet that the public was unaware she was undergoing chemotherapy until she announced her recovery. Now I have to figure out whether I want to go have treatment again or opt for life.
Many of her former costars shared their memories of the actress on social media following her death, including "Diff'rent Strokes" star Todd Bridges and "Facts of Life" star Kim Fields. Initially set at a girls' boarding school, that NBC series ran for nine seasons, though Rae left after its seventh year. "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 auto 53, Where Are You?
Due to health reasons, Charlotte left the show in 1986 and actress Cloris Leachman stepped in as her character before the series was cancelled two years later.More news: Following Trump insult, basketball legend Michael Jordan supports Lakers icon LeBron James
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Mrs. Garrett began on the show "Diff'rent Strokes" (1978-84.) She also briefly reprised the role on the shore-lived "Hello, Larry". The cast also celebrated the show's 35th anniversary with a reunion at PaleyFest in 2014.
In the years since, Charlotte continued to act, with roles on shows like Pretty Little Liars, ER and The King of Queens. Her other son, Andrew, died of a heart attack.
Charlotte also released a tell-all memoir in 2015 where she detailed her Hollywood experiences including her late husband John Strauss' bi-sexuality.