Charlotte Rae, Housemother From ‘The Facts Of Life,' Dead At 92

Herb Ball  NBC  NBCU

Rae famously played the housekeeper Edna Garrett on Diff'rent Strokes, and after becoming a popular character on the series, she was given a spin-off series in the form of The Facts of Life, where she worked as a house mother at a girl's bordering school.

She was married to composer John Strauss, with whom she had two sons. "I'm grateful for the life I've already had". "I don't want her to be Polly Perfect, because she must have human failings and make mistakes".

Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, she began her career on the radio and at the Wauwatosa Children's Theatre before attending Northwestern University.

Stage work was a passion for Rae, who in NY had appeared in a landmark production of Kurt Weill's "Threepenny Opera" and as Mammy Yokum in the hit musical "L'il Abner".

Rae made numerous TV appearances in 1950s drama anthologies including "The U.S. Steel Hour", "Playhouse 90" and "Armstrong Circle Theater", sharing the black-and-white screen with such actors as Zero Mostel, Art Carney and Gertrude Berg.

In the early 1960s, she created the role of Sylvia Schnauzer on TV series "Car 54 Where Are You?".

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

Rae's representative confirmed the news Sunday, saying she died surrounded by family and friends at her Los Angeles home.

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

In 2013, Rae went public with an account of why her marriage to Strauss had ended in the mid-1970s after a quarter-century.

Rae is survived by her sister, Miriam Guten as well as her son Larry, whom she shared with ex-husband John Strauss.

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...."

Services were pending, Boll said.

Related:

  • Montreal model known as Zombie Boy dead at 32, talent agency confirms

    Montreal model known as Zombie Boy dead at 32, talent agency confirms

    Rick reportedly was nicknamed Zombie Boy after undergoing an operation to remove a brain tumour when he was 15. The post paid tribute to Genest, calling him an "icon of the artistic scene" who "charmed everybody's hearts".
    Venezuela arrests six 'terrorists' over attempted Maduro assassination

    Venezuela arrests six 'terrorists' over attempted Maduro assassination

    The Broad Front, a coalition of opposition groups in Venezuela , accused the government of making an allegation without proof. Despite the optics, Smilde said he suspected that Maduro would nonetheless find a way to take advantage of it.
    A California Wildfire Whirled Into a 'Fire Tornado'

    A California Wildfire Whirled Into a 'Fire Tornado'

    As of Friday, Caltrans says SR-175 between Hopland and Lakeport is re-opened, after being closed since Sunday by the River Fire. The fire burned slowly for days before winds suddenly whipped it up last week and drove it furiously through brush and timber.
  • Saudi Arabia expels Canadian envoy after criticism of activist arrests

    Saudi Arabia expels Canadian envoy after criticism of activist arrests

    Riyadh said Canada's statement about "civil society activists" was negative and unfair to the truth. Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi's sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.
    Donald Trump attacks LeBron James in late-night tweet

    Donald Trump attacks LeBron James in late-night tweet

    Many have since come to the defense of James, and Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss joined that throng of vocal supporters. He was responding to remarks by then-Cavs star James and Curry, who both said they would not attend a White House reception.
    Johnny Manziel throws 4 interceptions, gets benched in CFL debut

    Johnny Manziel throws 4 interceptions, gets benched in CFL debut

    Both teams are on three-game losing streaks, despite Masoli throwing for more than 300 yards in five of his six starts. Montreal's head coach, Mike Sherman, recruited Manziel to Texas A&M , coaching him during his redshirt season.
  • Iran sees China as ‘pivotal’ to salvaging its nuclear deal

    Iran sees China as ‘pivotal’ to salvaging its nuclear deal

    IRNA reported that all protests had taken place without official permission and were subsequently broken up by police. Rouhani has suggested Iran might block the Strait of Hormuz in response to a shutdown of its oil exports.
    Bayern rule out Boateng switch for Martial

    Bayern rule out Boateng switch for Martial

    New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri then said he was confident Willian would stay but he remains a player on Mourinho's wish list.
    All eyes on 'right-hand man' as Manafort trial resumes

    All eyes on 'right-hand man' as Manafort trial resumes

    LaPorta also testified that she had seen documents that showed that there had been no payments on the loan between 2012 and 2014. That's why the accounts weren't reported on years' worth of Manafort's tax returns as required by federal law, Ayliff said.
  • Canada's Ontario government cuts basic income project short

    Canada's Ontario government cuts basic income project short

    Those who previously received Ontario Works social assistance program would likely rolled back into the program, she said. In a supplied backgrounder, the government states it will "wind down" the Ontario basic income pilot project.
    Trump Tweets, Then Deletes, Endorsement of Wrong Candidate

    Trump Tweets, Then Deletes, Endorsement of Wrong Candidate

    Hundreds of people are slowly making their way into an OH high school ahead of a rally headlined by President Donald Trump . The Ohio rally was Trump's third of the week and he has pledged to accelerate his pace further as the midterms approach.
    Coalition strikes on Hudaydah fishing port kill 26

    Coalition strikes on Hudaydah fishing port kill 26

    United Nations aid official John Ging described the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as "shocking, both in scale and severity". The coalition has taken control of the airport and not the seaport, Al Jazeera reported .

Comments

Other news