Sunday, August 5th, 2018
Costars and celebrities pay tribute to ‘incredible force of a woman’ Charlotte Rae
The Facts of Life Site: We were saddened to hear of Charlotte's passing. She was the anchor that started 'The Facts of Life.' Thank you for the wisdom and guidance you taught us all through the show. Mrs. Garrett was one in a million! Charlotte was born on April 22, 1926 and died August 5, 2018. She was the first cast member of the series to die.
By Mike Miller August 05, 2018 at 11:20 PM EDT; EW;
Charlotte Rae’s death has sparked an outpouring of condolences from celebrities and fans.
The actress, best known as wise and lovable house mother Mrs. Garrett on The Facts of Life, died Sunday at her home in Los Angeles, representatives for the actress confirmed. She was 92.
Kim Fields, who portrayed Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey on the hit sitcom, was one of the first to express her grief, 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…. #charlotterae #ripcharlotterae.”
Todd Bridges, who famously played young Willis Jackson along Rae’s Mrs. Garrett on Diff’rent Strokes, paid tribute to all of his late costars: “RIP IN PEACE ALL OF MY CAST MATES. I MISS YOU ALL.”
Mindy Cohn, who played Natalie Green on The Facts of Life, wrote a tribute to the late actress on Instagram. “It’s with a heavy heart & tears (but a smile as i think of her) that I now move through the world without this incredible force of a woman being it. 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. as I send sympathies to Larry and the rest of the family, I wish you the happiest of homecomings,” she wrote.
Comedian Larry Wilmore also shared his thoughts on social media, where he posted a video of himself playing a cop on an old episode of The Facts of Life.
Rae revealed she’d been diagnosed with bone cancer at the end of April 2017. “Last Monday, I found out I have bone cancer,” she said in a statement. “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,” she continued. “I’ve had a wonderful one already. I have this decision to make.”
Rae played the kooky but kind housekeeper Edna Garrett (unmissable thanks to that mound of bright orange hair) on Diff’rent Strokes, and when she became a popular breakout character, Rae herself proposed a spin-off. That spin-off became The Facts of Life, a sitcom about a girls’ boarding school and their (once again) kooky and kind house mother. Rae’s Mrs. Garrett (or Mrs. G, as Nancy McKeon’s Jo liked to call her) helped guide the girls through every very special episode theme imaginable, from depression to dating, AIDS to alcohol. Rae left the show in 1986 for health reasons, and though Cloris Leachman stepped in as Mrs. Garrett’s sister, the show was canceled two years later.
The actress went on to guest star on TV shows like ER, Pretty Little Liars, Sisters, and The King of Queens, and appeared in movies such as Don’t Mess with the Zohan and Tom and Jerry: The Movie. Her final regular gig was voicing “Nanny” in the animated 101 Dalmations: The Series, which aired from 1997-98.
Rae shared many of her Hollywood experiences — including 44 years of sobriety and discovering that her husband, John Strauss, was bisexual — in her memoir, The Facts of My Life, released in 2015.
In her April 2017 statement, Rae also said, “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.”
Saturday, August 4th, 2018Visit our News Archive to see our previous headlines!
FACTS OF LIFE REBOOT COMING FROM SONY!
by Dan Zinski – on Aug 03, 2018 in TV News for Screen Rant:
The Facts of Life may be the next show riding the revival wave back to TV, as Sony is reportedly considering a reboot of the 80s sitcom. The original show, a spinoff of the popular NBC series Diff’rent Strokes, chronicled the ups and downs of a group of teenagers at an all-girl boarding school in New York State.
The main cast of Facts of Life included Charlotte Rae as headmother Edna Garrett, Lisa Welchel as spoiled rich girl Blair, Kim Fields as spunky Tootie, Mindy Cohn as naive Natalie, and Nancy McKeon as bad girl Jo. Many famous guest stars made their way through the doors of Eastland School over the years, including George Clooney, Helen Hunt, Seth Green, Juliette Lewis and Mayim Bialik. The series ran from 1979 until 1988, and featured one of the most memorable theme songs in TV history.
Like so many other classic shows of the past, The Facts of Life is now being looked at as a candidate to be rebooted. THR reports that Sony Pictures Television is in early talks to revive the series, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jessica Biel both involved as executive producers through their respective Appian Way and Oceans Films production companies. No network is yet attached and no writer has been hired.
News of a potential Facts of Life reboot comes amid a slew of similar reports regarding other long-gone TV shows that are being considered for revival. Most recently, reports said the ‘80s sitcom ALF could get a revival from Warner Bros. Television. Popular Joss Whedon series Buffy the Vampire Slayer is also getting a reboot with a black lead actress. There has also been talk of Kelsey Grammer’s long-running sitcom Frasier coming back for another go-around. One series that won’t be rebooted is All in the Family, as Norman Lear recently reassured fans after news that he had signed a new two-year deal with Sony Pictures Television to develop series.
Love it or hate it, the revival trend looks like it’s here to stay. During an era where original television is as fresh and interesting as it’s arguably ever been, it’s strange to think that networks would need to reach back into the past in search of shows. Then again, with so many TV and streaming networks in competition and so much content being needed to keep schedules filled, it’s also no surprise that no stone is being left unturned in the search for material. The Facts of Life makes sense as the latest reboot target, as it brings loads of nostalgia value (DiCaprio and Biel clearly still remember it fondly), and is built on a sturdy sitcom premise that can easily be re-worked for today’s audiences.