Charlotte Rae: While Admiring Her Talent On Screen, We Had No Idea She Went Through Divorce, Bisexual Husband, And Cancer Battle
News of Charlotte Rae’s passing on August 5, 2018 has shocked the entertainment community and multiple fans of the actress. Today, we want to recall Charlotte’s brightest life moments and career achievements to have a better understanding of what kind of person she was.
Marriage and family
Charlotte Rae stole people’s hearts by her awesome play in Diff’rent Strokes and its spinoff The Facts of Life.
But despite her tremendous success in acting, a personal life of the beloved actress was rather problematic. In 1951, Rae married the love of her life, composer John Strauss. Their marriage was considered to be perfect in all respects, but there was a dark secret.
After 20 years of marriage, John came out as bisexual. Charlotte recalled that conversation in her candid interview with ET. The star said she felt absolutely devastated, as “she was not much of a woman.”
Six years later, John and Charlotte divorced. Strauss found his new long-time partner, but Rae did not remarry again. She dedicated her life to her two sons and acting.
Another devastating news that influenced Rae a lot was her son Andy’s passing. Andy suffered from epilepsy and autism. After her son’s death, the actress joined Alcoholics Anonymous because she was afraid she could not resist the temptation to drown her sorrows. But she could! Her work helped her a lot.
Charlotte Rae’s ‘Facts of Life’
Charlotte Rae chose not to marry again after her divorce with John. Instead, she made an accent on her career.
Between the children and my career, I just didn't have time. There were people I had little flings with that were lovely, but nobody I wanted to marry.
Rae’s acting career spanned six decades. Charlotte started to work on the radio and perform in theaters when she was a teenager. The actress is best-known for her iconic role as Edna Garrett in the popular sitcom Diff’rent Strokes and its spinoff The Facts of Life. Charlotte Rae was nominated for Tony and Emmy awards.
In 2009, Rae was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After a lasting treatment, the actress managed to defeat the disease. But in 2017, she announced to People she had bone cancer.
Charlotte Rae died on August 5, 2018 aged 92 surrounded by her close people. The star’s passing left nobody indifferent. Numerous fans and co-stars honored Rae’s memory with touching tributes.
I was just thinking about Charlotte Rae the other day when they announced the Facts of Life reboot and how hard it's going to be to replace her memorable Mrs. Garrett. RIP. pic.twitter.com/x4805A8qwi— John Cohen (@JohnCohen1) August 6, 2018
RIP Charlotte Rae, 92, sitcom den mother, nonpareil comic actor and singer, recipient of and kindly respondent to my very first fan letter pic.twitter.com/w6hJCRRSts— Adam Feldman (@FeldmanAdam) August 6, 2018
Love this recent pic of my mom and Charlotte Rae who just passed away at 92🙏🏽💔...what a beautiful woman who lived a robust and amazing life. Tremendous talent.— Holly Robinson Peete🧚🏽♂️ (@hollyrpeete) August 6, 2018
I am so proud to have met her.
Rest In Peace. #CharlotteRae #FactsOfLife #DifferentStrokes #MrsGarrett pic.twitter.com/WEscUUwhzu
I met Charlotte Rae in 2012. I saw her with a walker and an aide at Gina La Forina on W. 73rd street. I stopped her and said “excuse me, I’m such a fan.”— Doug Plaut (@DougPlaut) August 6, 2018
She grabbed my face and said “YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! You made my day.” And kisses me on the lips.
RIP, Mrs. Garrett. pic.twitter.com/wYArC6mRkb
She was so sweet, funny, wise, lovely, and brilliant. She will be so missed. Rest In Peace Sweet Charlotte Rae. pic.twitter.com/c7OrehPeb0— Audra McDonald (@AudraEqualityMc) August 6, 2018
Charlotte Rae was an incredible woman with the exceptional sense of humor and kind heart. She was loved and admired by millions.