Charlotte Rae, Dead at 92, Mourned by 'Facts of Life' and 'Diff'rent Strokes' Co-Stars
“She was my champion, a teacher, a proud example of the tenacity and perseverance needed to live an actor’s life,” shares Mindy Cohn.
Hollywood icon Charlotte Rae died Sunday at the age of 92, and the outpouring of love from co-stars and Hollywood fans alike is still taking over social media.
The actress — best known for playing Mrs. Garrett on "Diff’rent Strokes" and "The Facts of Life" — died at her home in Los Angeles after losing her nine-month-long battle with bone cancer.
Rae played a wise and lovable woman on television, and based on the reactions to her death, her real-life character was just the same.
"’Diff’rent Strokes’ would not have been the same without you, Charlotte Rae," tweeted Todd Bridges, who played Willis Jackson in the series. "You were loved by everyone on our show, and you were loved by everyone on ‘The Facts of Life.’ [We] will miss you. My heart is full of pain.’ Rest in peace, my friend."
Mindy Cohn — who played "Natalie Greennit" on "The Facts of Life" — shared on Instagram a photo of the pair from 2017, captioning the shot, "It’s with a heavy heart and lots of tears (but a smile as I think of her) that I now move through the world without this incredible force of a woman being in it. She was my champion, a teacher, a proud example of the tenacity and perseverance needed to live an actor’s life. I love you, Char. I will continue to make you proud. And, as I send sympathies to Larry and the rest of the family, I wish you the happiest of homecomings."
Kim Fields, who played Tootie, and Lisa Whelchel, who played Blair Warner, also paid tribute to their late "Facts of Life" co-star.
"You all already know my heart is heavy yet… sorry, no words at the moment, just love and tears… and yeah, smiles…" Fields tweeted.
Whelchel shared a photo of the two from their days on iconic series, tweeting, "Thank you, Charlotte, for 40 years of friendship and love. You will be missed."
Comedian Larry Wilmore — who played a cop on an episode of "The Facts of Life" — tweeted a clip from the scene he shared with Rae and wrote, "Saddened to hear about Charlotte Rae’s passing. My first TV gig a millennium of moons ago was on ‘The Facts of Life.’ She was just the best and nicest lady. I look like I’m 12 playing a cop. RIP. Ms. Rae."
Rae began her career on television in the 1950s. By 1961, she landed a recurring role on "Car 54, Where Are You?" which was shot in New York.
During her time in the Big Apple, she took to the stage and earned two Tony nominations for "Pickwick" (1966) and "Morning, Noon and Night" (1969).
By the 1970s, she made the move to Los Angeles with her husband at the time, composer John Strauss, and their two sons, Andy and Larry. She eventually landed "Diff’rent Strokes," in which she played Mrs. Garrett, the housekeeper.
In the 1970s, Rae finally made a public account of her divorce from Strauss, two years after his death in 2011, disclosing her former husband’s complicated sexuality and desire for an open marriage.
Rae is survived by her two sons and sister, Miriam Guten, along with three grandchildren.
See how co-stars from both of the actress’ beloved series as well as Hollywood fans paid their respects to "Mrs. Garret" across social media.
it’s with a heavy heart & lots of tears (but a smile as i think of her) that I now move through the world without this incredible force of a woman being in it. she was my champion, a teacher, a proud example of the tenacity and perseverance needed to live an actor’s life. i love you char. i will continue to make you proud. and, as I send sympathies to larry and the rest of the family, I wish you the happiest of homecomings. #ripcharlotterae ? #ohwhatalife #mwah #tilwemeetagain #thankyou
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Celebrity Deaths of 2018
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