Charlotte Rae, best known as the lovable house mother Mrs. Edna Garrett on the ’80s sitcom “The Facts of Life,” has died following a battle with cancer. She was 92.
Last April, Rae announced she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer seven years earlier, saying in a statement at the time it was “a miracle that they found it because usually, it’s too late. My mother, sister, and my uncle died of pancreatic cancer.”
After six months of chemotherapy, she said she was cancer-free. But in 2017, doctors found cancer in her bones.
"I lost my hair, but I had beautiful wigs. Nobody ever knew. So now, at the age of 91, I have to make up my mind,” she wrote. “I’m not in any pain right now. I’m feeling so terrific and so glad to be above ground. Now I have to figure out whether I want to go have treatment again or opt for life.”
Rae concluded, “I love life. I’ve had a wonderful one already … I’ve had a great life, but I have so many wonderful things happening. I’d like to choose life. I’m grateful for the life I’ve already had.”
After appearing in the Norman Lear comedy “Hot L Baltimore,” the prolific producer hired her to play housekeeper Edna Garrett in the sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes.” A year later, NBC approved its spinoff, “The Facts of Life,” in which Rae’s Mrs. Garrett would go from housekeeper to house mother of a group of girls in a prestigious private school. She left the series in 1986, early in its eighth season.
In recent years, Rae appeared on “The King of Queens,” “ER,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “Girl Meets World.”
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