The world of television lost one of its most beloved figures, Charlotte Rae, just days ago. The Facts of Life star, who played Mrs. Garrett on the longtime TV show, as well as on Diff’rent Strokes, passed away on Saturday in Los Angeles at the age of 92.
She had been diagnosed with bone cancer in April 2017 and opened up about the diagnosis in a heartfelt statement. “Last Monday, I found out I have bone cancer,” she said in a statement at the time, according to Entertainment Weekly. “About seven years ago, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — which is a miracle that they found it because usually, it’s too late. My mother, sister, and my uncle died of pancreatic cancer. After six months of chemotherapy, I was cancer-free. I lost my hair, but I had beautiful wigs. Nobody ever knew. So now, at the age of 91, I have to make up my mind. I’m not in any pain right now. I’m feeling so terrific and so glad to be above ground. Now I have to figure out whether I want to go have treatment again or opt for life... I love life. I’ve had a wonderful one already … I’ve had a great life, but I have so many wonderful things happening. I’d like to choose life. I’m grateful for the life I’ve already had.”
Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Garrett during her time on The Facts of Life.
Charlotte starred on The Facts of Life with RHOA alum, Kim Fields.
In the wake of the news, Rae's former The Facts of Life co-star, The Real Housewives of Atlanta alum, Kim Fields, remembered the TV icon, writing on Twitter, "You all already know my heart is heavy yet.... sorry, no words at the moment just love and tears... and yeah, smiles."