Charlotte Rae, the Drummonds' housekeeper on "Diff'rent Strokes" and the wise and patient housemother of a brood of teenage girls on the long-running sitcom “The Facts of Life,” has died. She was 92.
Rae died at her Los Angeles home Sunday with her family at her side, her publicist said. A cause of death was not immediately available, but Rae was diagnosed last year with bone cancer after beating pancreatic cancer.
She was Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, on April 22, 1926, graduated from Shorewood High School in 1944. After studying drama at Northwestern University, then moved to New York where, despite early plans to be a “serious” actress, she quickly found work doing satirical sketches in Greenwich Village clubs.
She originated the character of Mrs. Garrett in 1978 during the first season of NBC’s comedy “Diff’rent Strokes,” then took Mrs. Garrett with her for the spinoff “Facts of Life,” which premiered the following season.
Initially set at a girls’ boarding school, that NBC series ran for nine seasons. Rae left after its seventh year, however, explaining later, “I needed some time for the rest of my life.”
Some of her former co-stars recall her lovingly in their Tweets...
it’s with a heavy heart and tears (but a smile as i think of her lil’ bod and hear her voice) that I now move through the world without this incredible force of a woman being it. she was… https://t.co/AVUoqk5fEv— Mindy Cohn (@MindyCohn) August 6, 2018
Thank you, Charlotte, for 40 years of friendship and love. You will be missed. 🙏💕 pic.twitter.com/ywmPwepdvm— Lisa Whelchel (@LisaWhelchel) August 6, 2018
Different Strokes would not have been the same without you #CharlotteRae. You were loved by everyone on our show and you were loved by everyone on the facts of life will miss you "My heart is full of Pain" Rest in peace my friend pic.twitter.com/8FbterNz3S— Todd Bridges (@ToddBridges) August 6, 2018