Charlotte Rae, housemother on 'The Facts of Life,' dies at 92

Charlotte Rae

Charlotte Rae

Charlotte was born Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Russian Jewish parents, Esther, who was a childhood friend of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and Meyer Lubotsky, a retail tire business owner.

The actor died at her Los Angeles home on Sunday with her family at her side, said her publicist, Harlan Boll.

According to Deadline, Rae confirmed she had bone and pancreatic cancer a year ago. Rae originated the character of Edna Garrett in 1978 during the first season of NBC's comedy "Diff'rent Strokes", then took Mrs. Garrett with her for the spinoff "The Facts of Life", which premiered the following season.

Both shows were wildly successful between the late '70s and mid-'80s - but they were just a small slice of her long career.

Charlotte got her start in show biz through radio and theater, and broke into television acting on auto 53, Where Are You?

"She played "the Twitch" and other iconic comic television roles on the Phil Silver's Show and created the role of Sylvia Schnauzer on TV's classic, auto 54 Where Are You?" However, her representatives did not give a cause of death. She revealed her mother, sister and uncle died of pancreatic cancer and that she was cancer-free after six months of chemotherapy.

"So now, at the age of 91, I have to make up my mind".

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"I had attractive wigs", Rae said. "I'm not in any pain right now", she explained at the time. Now I have to figure out if I want to go have treatment again or opt for life. Even while appearing on The Facts of Life, she also appeared on The Love Boat, playing three different roles in four episodes between 1982 and 1985.

The actress also appeared in 101 Dalmatians: The Series and starred alongside Hollywood actress Meryl Streep in the movie Ricki and the Flash.

The star leaves behind her two sons Larry and Andrew Strauss.

In 2011, The Facts of Life cast reunited as part of the TV Land Awards, and Rae won the Pop Icon award, being honored by speeches from Facts co-stars Kim Fields and Nancy McKeon.

In the early 1970s, Rae moved to Los Angeles with her then-husband, composer and music editor John Strauss, and their sons Andy and Larry.

In addition to acting, Rae was an accomplished singer and dancer.

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