She announced in April 2017 that she was diagnosed with bone cancer, and seven years prior to that was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rae started out in local theatre and radio before landing her big TV break as Sylvia Schnauser on the classic comedy auto 54, Where Are You?
Todd Bridges, who played Willis Jackson on The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes, tweeted, "You were loved by everyone on our show". Now I have to figure out if I want to go have treatment again or opt for life.
Her older sister, Beverly had a brief career as an opera singer and her younger sister, Miriam co-wrote several musicals. Rae won a Prime Time Emmy Award nomination for the role in 1982.More news: Ryanair release strong statement blaming "handful" of Aer Lingus pilots for strikes
The talented actress gained nationwide acclaim for her role as Edna Garrett, first on Diff'rent Strokes, and then on the beloved spinoff The Facts of Life.
In addition to acting, Rae was an accomplished singer and dancer.
Charlotte Rae and Kim Fields on The Facts of Life.
After taking some time away from the spotlight, the actress went on to appear as a guest in many other movies and television series including ER, Don't Mess With The Zohan, The King Of Queens and even Pretty Little Liars. Andy Strauss died in 1999, and she wrote her memoir The Facts of My Life, with Larry Strauss. She had two sons, Larry and Andrew, with her ex-husband, John Strauss, who she divorced in 1976 after he came out as bi-sexual.
"She was my champion, a teacher, a proud example of the tenacity and perseverance needed to live as a creative, along with your talent and gifts. i love you char", Cohn, who played Natalie, posted on Instagram. I love life. I've had a wonderful one already. "No, no, no! If people had a positive experience with Mrs. Garrett, that makes me so happy!"