Charlotte Rae's Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes Castmates Pay Tribute to Late Actress
The actress — best known as wise and lovable house mother Mrs. Garrett on Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life — died Sunday at her home in Los Angeles
Charlotte Rae will be missed — and that’s a fact.
The actress — best known as wise and lovable house mother Mrs. Garrett on Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life — died Sunday at her home in Los Angeles, her reps confirmed to Entertainment Weekly. She was 92.
Rae revealed she’d been diagnosed with bone cancer to PEOPLE at the end of April 2017.
After the news broke of Rae’s death late Sunday, costars from both of the actress’ beloved series were quick to pay tribute on social media.
“Different Strokes would not have been the same without you #CharlotteRae,” wrote Todd Bridges, 53, who portrayed Willis Jackson on Diff’rent Strokes.
Continued Bridges, “You were loved by everyone on our show and you were loved by everyone on the facts of life will miss you ‘My heart is full of Pain’ Rest in peace my friend.”
Mindy Cohn — Facts of Life‘s Natalie Green — wrote that she had a “heavy heart” following Rae’s death. Alongside an Instagram photo of the pair from 2017, Cohn, 52, said, “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.”
Two other Facts of Life cast members also shared their condolences on social media, including Kim Fields, who portrayed Tootie, and Lisa Whelchel, who starred as Blair Warner.
Wrote Fields, 49, “You all already know my heart is heavy yet…. sorry, no words at the moment just love and tears… and yeah, smiles.”
“This ‘see you later’ is so hard…” she wrote in a second tweet, and said in another, “How I look in this pic is how I feel right now: They want a statement fr me but how do I capture 40 yrs of love/admiration/respect/gratitude/joy/laughter in a statement? How can I make them understand the body of ur theater/film/tv wk was amazing, w/an iconic staple at the core?”
Echoed Whelchel, “Thank you, Charlotte, for 40 years of friendship and love. You will be missed.”
In 2011, The Facts of Life cast reunited for the TV Land Awards, where Rae took home the Pop Icon award. That night, Fields and Nancy McKeon gave speeches in her honor. For the show’s 35th anniversary in 2014, they again got together for the closing night of PaleyFest in Los Angeles.
Rae shared many of her Hollywood experiences in her memoir, The Facts of My Life, released in 2015.
Speaking to PEOPLE in April 2017, Rae reflected on a life well-lived, sharing, “At 91, every day is a birthday. [In my book] I want to tell everybody to celebrate every day, to savor the day and be good to yourself, love yourself, and then you can be good to others and be of service to others.”