Charlotte Rae, the affable Mrs Garrett from 'The Facts of Life', dies after long cancer battle
Charlotte had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier and she managed to beat that but in 2017 she fell prey to bone cancer.
For a generation of TV viewers, actress Charlotte Rae has come to be known as the beloved Mrs. Garrett from popular NBC shows like 'Diff’rent Strokes' and 'The Facts of Life'. On Sunday, the affable comedienne breathed her last at her home in Los Angeles. Rae died at the age of 92.
The news of the celebrated actress' tragic passing has been confirmed by her publicist, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the 80's - at the peak of Rae's career when she even picked up an Emmy nomination for playing the role of Edna Garrett in the NBC sitcom, the actress was a common face on television. However, in 2017, to the shock of many, the actress revealed her struggles with cancer.
Revealing that she has been diagnosed with bone cancer in early 2017, Rae had told People magazine, "Last Monday, I found out I have bone cancer... About seven years ago, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — which is 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, I was cancer-free. I lost my hair, but I had beautiful wigs. Nobody even knew.”
Explaining the difficult decision that she had to make, the actress added: "So now, at the age of 91, I have to make up my mind. 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 to opt for life. I love life. I’ve had a wonderful one already. I have this decision to make.”
Asides from television, Rae was a known face in the theater circles as well - the actress was honored with two Tony nominations for 'Pickwick' and 'Morning Noon and Night'. Starting off on the stage, however, the actress' career was bolstered by 1978's hilarious and heart-warming series, 'Diff’rent Strokes'. Norman Lear, a longtime fan of the actress, was the one who cast her in the role. After the sitcom, there was no looking back for the actress, who has also appeared in 'Car 54, Where Are You?', 'ER', and 'Pretty Little Liars, Sisters'.
While she has guest starred in many noteworthy shows, her most popular role till date, undoubtedly, remains that of Mrs. Garrett. Speaking of bringing the lovable but no-nonsense character to life, Rae had told Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald back in the days, "I've tried to make her a human being with dimensions. The way they write her now is with a great deal of sensitivity and understanding. But I don't want her to be Polly Perfect, because she must have human failings and make mistakes.”
Rae, who has also dabbled in the music industry, went on to voice "Nanny" in '101 Dalmations: The Series' - a 90's animated program which also turned out to be her final regular gig.