- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 5, 2018

The actress who played the beloved TV housemaid “Mrs. Garrett” died Sunday.

Charlotte Rae was 92.

Ms. Rae died at her Los Angeles home with family members present just 18 months after being diagnosed with bone cancer — the second cancer diagnosis she’d had.

Ms. Rae, whose real name was Charlotte Rae Lubotsky, won her big break in 1978 when she was cast as the housekeeper Edna Garrett in the NBC situation-comedy “Diff’rent Strokes,” a starring vehicle for black child actors Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges.

The character of Mrs. Garrett — big orange hair, kindly manner but somewhat daffy — was so popular that she got a spin-off series.

Running from 1979 to 1988, “The Facts of Life” was also a hit and cast Mrs. Garrett as the housemother at an all-girls school dorm.

She had to retire from the show in 1986 for health reasons, with Cloris Leachman taking over in a similar maternal-type role, but by then she’d already been nominated for an Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series, the second of her two nods.

Ms. Rae also had been nominated in 1975 for best-supporting actress in a single performance, in “Queen of the Stardust Ballroom.” She also copped two Tony nominations earlier in her career.

She and husband John Strauss had two children, Larry and Andrew.\She and husband John Strauss had two children, Larry and Andrew.

Ms. Rae and Larry Strauss released her biography, “The Facts of My Life” in 2015.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide