By Sandra Rose  | 

The Facts of Life star Charlotte Rae passed away just days after the reboot of the 1980s TV sitcom was announced. Rae's rep confirmed she died Sunday, Aug. 5, at her home in Los Angeles. No cause of death was given. She was 92. reports that Rae was battling cancer last year.

Rae played the lovable yet firm house mother Mrs. Garrett on the NBC TV sitcom Facts of Life from 1979 to 1988. Rae left the show in 1986 due to health reasons. She was replaced by character actress Cloris Leachman.

After starting out doing plays at a local theater in her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rae got her first big TV break as Sylvia Schnauser on the classic comedy Car 54, Where Are You?.

Rae's star turn came when she was cast to play the beloved house mother at the exclusive Eastland all-girls' boarding school in The Facts of Life, also starring Kim Fields, left, as "Tootie" and Lisa Welchel, right, as conceited rich girl Blair Warner.

The show was a spin-off of NBC's 1980's sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, that featured Rae as Edna Garrett, housekeeper to millionaire Mr. Drummond (played by the late Conrad Bain), his daughter Kimberly (played by the late Dana Plano) and his two Black adopted sons from Harlem, Arnold and Willis Jackson (played by the late Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges).

The word "Different" in the show's title was stylized with a dropped 'e' to reflect the urban slang favored by Black people in the 1970s, also known colloquially as Ebonics.

Diff'rent Strokes star Bridges, 2nd from left, is pictured with Facts of Life stars Kim Fields, far left, Lisa Whelchel, 2nd from right, and Charlotte Rae at Hallmark's Home and Family 'Facts Of Life Reunion' at Universal Studios Backlot on February 12, 2016 in Universal City, California.

Rae also appeared on ER, Pretty Little Liars, and The King of Queens, as well as in films like Don't Mess with the Zohan.

Her memoir, The Facts of My Life, was published in 2015.

A reboot of The Facts of Life is in the production phase at Sony Pictures TV.

Photos by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Rest In Peace.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    On another note:
    Todd needs to bleach his lips.
    enough is enough.

  • FukkFolks2018

    A reboot of The Facts of Life is in the production phase at Sony Pictures TV.


    RIP to the iconic Mrs. Garrett. Made me want to go to boarding school that show did. Loved it

  • stav

    She looked great! RIP

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Me too.

  • Renee26


  • Coy little wink

    Looks like he just brushed his teeth with activated charcoal...and didn't rinse ?

  • KcoolMuziq

    It must feel eerie for Todd being the ONLY one left from the cast of Different Strokes.
    BTW his book is a must read for the #MeToo movement and autobiographical for me.

    R.I.P. Charlotte Rae

  • FukkFolks2018

    Holy CRAP. He sure IS the last one aint he? DAMN!

  • iWasteTime

    One time for Mrs. Garrett!
    I loved her on the Facts of Life, she came off so comforting !

  • Li-Wright

    Bone cancer.

  • KLove

    RIP Mrs. Garrett.....a piece of my childhood died along with her.

  • cherrypie

    Awwww. Loved that show. She was so sweet. RIP Mrs. Garrett.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    His lips have been looking super burnt since forever.

  • Libra80sBaby

    Hollywood running out of ideas. EVERYTHING is being rebooted.

  • Coy little wink

    I haven't seen him in years ?

  • Coy little wink

    I rarely watch tv as I don't have cable but the other nite I watched the match game and that pyramid show and the gong show! Couldn't believe they are back on ?

  • SummerBaby


  • pecancandy

    Don’t start this morning

  • SummerBaby

    Back in the day who would’ve thought he would be the last one still alive. ?

  • SummerBaby

    I hate how the reboot everything.

  • Kanyade

    RIP to Mrs. Garrett.

  • Trace da Ace


  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    Very eerie. Gary Coleman and Dana Plato were fairly young when they died.

  • FukkFolks2018

    NOBODY. He was the first one whose issues were well publicized. He was bad off in the 80s and 90s. Blessings to him for getting it under control.

  • Quitedeliteful

    This was a great show. Seems like she lived a full life. She looks good for a 92 year old white lady...

  • imright

    “no cause of death” ? she was 92 !! that was the cause of death ?

  • Roderick2011

    Actually she had bone cancer.

  • Roderick2011

    She looks good for a 92 year old white lady

  • Roderick2011


    Everyone thought he would be the first of that cast to die.

  • Roderick2011


    Boarding school is for a bunch of rich parents who don't want to raise their children.

  • justlooking

    She lived a good life. 92 is amazing and a blessing. RIP MISS G

  • Phillybruh

    But isn't everything some variation of another show but just another name. May as well call it what it is.

  • Logan Roberts

    RIP ?. I watch/listen to Facts of Life every morning before work.

  • FukkFolks2018

    The final episodes of Facts of Life aired in 1988. I was 11. You think we knew that at 11 and younger? It plain just looked fun as hell. ESPECIALLY when they moved adjacent to the bakery...and then when that burned down lived adjacent to a store that was in my 9 yo mind was the equivalent of Sanrio Surprises.

  • Kay J

    Man, I saw grey hair and glimpsed the word, 'DEAD' in the headline and immediately worried it was beloved Betty White Whew?? That was a close one!

  • FukkFolks2018

    When Betty White dies I am going to be SO FREAKING SAD. I am not ready but she old, so its coming. *sads*

  • Phillybruh

    I don't mind shows that had some lessons in them being rebooted. Looking forward to Sister/Sister when Tia or Tamara loses that baby weight.

  • puppylove

    Hursh your damn mouth. Givin the reaper ideas.

  • iWasteTime

    I've killed her, before, on this blog.
    I'm not ready for Betty ass to go

  • WhoKnew

    R.I.P. Ms. Rae.

  • Roderick2011

    I was making an observation.

    I am sure that it seemed like one never-ending slumber party to young girls.

  • Tiff J

    LOL Tia is the one that just had the baby, They are not one in the same person. LOL

  • Tiff J

    I'm sorry, didn't see you put Tia OR Tamera. Thought you called the TiaTamera like some people do. LOL

  • Quitedeliteful


  • Faithz

    Sleep on Ms Rae, sleep on.

  • Tiff J

    Dana was 35 when she passed. For some reason I thought she died younger than that. I remember the "Behind the scenes Diff'rent Strokes Movie" that aired a few years ago, and they showed Todd & Gary going to her grave.

  • dru and neil

    She does look pretty in the picture!

  • dru and neil

    I’m actually waiting on the supposed Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot anxiously.

  • Kimocha

    You take the good.... You take the bad... You take them both and there you have... The Facts Of Life.... R.I.P. Ms. Rae

  • the guest

    Rest In Peace Mrs. G.

    Loved the show Facts of Life.

  • Guess Who

    She was almost a century old...and she looks in better health than Todd Bridges, SMH.

    Blair looks good.

    Are those sweat stains under tootie's armpits? 0_o

  • Guess Who

    Do you know her personally to be that sad?

  • Miss Thang

    The theme song played in my head when I saw her face. Thank you for everything, Mrs. Garrett.

  • ?Patty Kakes?

    girls Girls GIRLS!

  • Ajavee

    RIH Ms. Rae.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Not all. It looks like fun.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920


  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    I had the BIGGEST in LOVE crush on him when I was a kid.

  • KcoolMuziq

    I saw Gary at the bank one time. We both shared the same bank. R.I.P. Gary Coleman

  • ImWoke

    Betty White would be a great a loss, but Mrs. G is a great loss too. RIP Mrs. G

  • Enoughsaid2020

    Rest in peace!

  • Karen Brady

    Rest in peace Ms. Rae!

  • Chicagowise

    You take the good, you take the bad, 
    you take them both and there you have 
    The facts of life, the facts of life. 

    There's a time you got to go and show 
    You're growin' now you know about 
    The facts of life, the facts of life. 

    When the world never seems 
    to be livin up to your dreams 
    And suddenly you're finding out 
    the facts of life are all about you, you. 

    It takes a lot to get 'em right 
    When you're learning the facts of life.

    Goodnight, Mrs. Garrett.

  • Dahl

    Aw, sad to hear...

  • Connie

    Oh my God! Me too!

  • Jussjess25

    Thanks for that ??

  • MzTee

    No...Not Mrs. Garrett. RIP Charlotte Rae!!!