Charlotte Rae, housemother on 'The Facts of Life,' dies at 92

Charlotte Rae, who had a six decade career as an actress and was best known as the wise housemother on “The Facts of Life,” died Sunday in Los Angeles. She was 92.

The Tony and Emmy nominated actress appeared on the popular 1980s sitcom “The Facts of Life” for nearly 10 years, sharing her personal struggles with the writers for the show to keep things realistic.

In the early 1960s, she created the role of Sylvia Schnauzer on TV series “Car 54 Where Are You?” She also worked extensively on Broadway, in Shakespeare in the Park and in summer stock.

Rae’s other television work included a year on “Sesame Street,” and a recurring role on “Hot L Baltimore,” then a season on “Diff’rent Strokes,” where her character Mrs. Garrett was born before spinning off on “The Facts of Life,” for which she earned an Emmy nomination.

See photos of Charlotte Rae:

30 PHOTOS
Charlotte Rae through the years
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Charlotte Rae through the years
THE FACTS OF LIFE -- Pictured: (clockwise from top left) Nancy McKeon as Joanna 'Jo' Marie Polniaczek Bonner, Lisa Whelchel as Blair Warner, Mindy Cohn as Natalie Letisha Sage Green, Kim Fields as Dorothy 'Tootie' Ramsey (center) Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Edna Ann Garrett (Photo by Herb Ball/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE FACTS OF LIFE -- Season 1 -- Pictured: Charlotte Rae as Edna Garrett (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE FACTS OF LIFE -- Pictured: (back row l-r) Kim Fields as Dorothy 'Tootie' Ramsey, Lisa Whelchel as Blair Warner, (front row l-r) Nancy McKeon as Joanna 'Jo' Marie Polniaczek Bonner, Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Edna Ann Garrett, Mindy Cohn as Natalie Letisha Sage Green -- Photo by: Ron Tom/NBCU Photo Bank
DIFF'RENT STROKES -- 'Movin' In' Episode 1 -- Pictured: (l-r) Conrad Bain as Philip Drummond, Charlotte Rae as Edna Garrett -- Photo by: Herb Ball/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
THE FACTS OF LIFE -- 'Overachieving' Episode 5 -- Aired 3/12/80 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kim Fields as Dorothy 'Tootie' Ramsey, Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Edna Ann Garrett, Molly Ringwald as Molly Parker -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank
THE FACTS OF LIFE -- Season 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Edna Ann Garrett, Kim Fields as Dorothy 'Tootie' Ramsey (Photo by Herb Ball/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE FACTS OF LIFE -- Pictured: (l-r) Mindy Cohn as Natalie Letisha Sage Green, Kim Fields as Dorothy 'Tootie' Ramsey, Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Edna Ann Garrett, Lisa Whelchel as Blair Warner, Nancy McKeon as Joanna 'Jo' Marie Polniaczek Bonner (Photo by Ron Tom/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA - JANUARY 11: Actress Brooke Shields, entertainer Bob Hope, actor Erik Estrada, actor Gary Coleman and actress Charlotte Rae attend the NBC Television Special 'Bob Hope's 30th Anniversary Special' on January 11, 1981 at NBC Television Studios in Burbank, California. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
LOVE BOAT - 'Pride of Pacific/viking's son/seperate Vacations/Experiement/Getting to Know You' which aired on March 6, 1982. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) CHARLOTTE RAE;NELSON REILLY
THE FACTS OF LIFE -- 150th Show Party -- Pictured: (l-r) Charlotte Rae as Edna Garrett, Lisa Whelchel as Blair Warner, Nancy McKeon as Joanne 'Jo' Polniaczek, Kim Fields as Dorothy 'Tootie' Ramsey, Mindy Cohn as Natalie Green, Mackenzie Astin as Andy Moffet, George Clooney as George Burnett (Photo by Ron Tom/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE FACTS OF LIFE -- 'Spago Party' -- Pictured: Charlotte Rae -- (Photo by: Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
381951 01: It was 'Facts of Life' time again when actresses Lisa Welchel, left, Charlotte Rae and Nancy McKeon reunited during the Third Annual Friends of CLARE Foundation Tribute Dinner to honor Charlotte Rae. The CLARE Foundation has been helping individuals, their families and loved ones gain sobriety and build healthy and productive lives in Los Angeles for thirty years. The event was held November 16, 2000 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, CA. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Newsmakers)
Actress Charlotte Rae and Actress Ruth Buzzi attend the 1993 American Television Awards on May 23, 1993 at The Barker Hangar, The Santa Monica Air Center in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Set�up scenes of the play 70, Girls with Charlotte Rae(red, center) with the cast in a scene. (Photo by Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Sally Struthers (Samantha), Charlotte Rae (Charlotte), Bea Arthur (Carrie) and Katherine Helmond (Miranda), parody Sex and the City for the TV Land Awards, which will air on TV Land on Wednesday, March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT *Exclusive* ***Exclusive*** (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
BURBANK, CA - JULY 20: Charlotte Rae and Connie Hines attends the Hollywood Collectors & Celebrities Show at the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel & Convention Center on July 20, 2007 in Burbank, California. (Photo by John M. Heller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA. - MAY 28: Charlotte Rae arrives at Sony Pictures Premiere of 'You Don't Mess With the Zohan' on May 28, 2008 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 12: (L-R) Actors Anne Jeffreys, Charlotte Rae, Ann Rutherford and Sue Collins pose at A Centennial Tribute to Jimmy Stewart at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on June 12, 2008, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 13: Actress Charlotte Rae and Lawrence Preston arrive at the 14th Annual Actors Fund Tony Awards Party on June 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R) Actresses Jane A. Johnston, Carol Channing and Charlotte Rae attend Channing's 90th birthday celebration at the Pantages Theatre on February 21, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 27: Actress Charlotte Rae attends the 25th annual Professional Dances Society Gypsy Awards at The Beverly Hilton on March 27, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Geri Jewell, Cloris Leachman, Nancy McKeon, Charlotte Rae and Lisa Whelchel attends the 9th Annual TV Land Awards at the Javits Center on April 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
The cast of 'The Facts Of Life' (L-R) Cloris Leachman, Mindy Cohn, Kim Fields, Charlotte Rae, Geri Jewell, Lisa Whelchel and Nancy McKeon accept the Pop Culture Award onstage at the 9th Annual TV Land Awards at the Javits Center on April 10, 2011 in New York City.
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 05: Charlotte Rae and Lawrence Pressman attend the opening night of 'Assisted Living' at The Odyssey Theatre on April 5, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actress Charlotte Rae attends the 2014 PaleyFest Fall TV preview of 'The Facts Of Life' 35th anniversary reunion at The Paley Center for Media on September 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: Actress Charlotte Rae and Jerry Stiller attend the Charlotte Rae book signing of 'The Facts of My Life' at Sardi's on November 3, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Actress Charlotte Rae attends Hallmark's Home and Family 'Facts Of Life Reunion' at Universal Studios Backlot on February 12, 2016 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 12: Charlotte Rae and Alan Mandell arrivesa at The Actors Fund's 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 12, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Marc Flores/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - MARCH 20: (L-R) Actress Charlotte Rae and actress Kitty Swink attend the Premiere Of 'Casa Valentina'at Pasadena Playhouse on March 20, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 23: Actress Charlotte Rae attends the 30th Annual Gypsy Awards Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 23, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic)
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Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, she began her career on the radio and at the Wauwatosa Children’s Theatre before attending Northwestern University. She roomed with Cloris Leachman and also befriended Paul Lynde, then she began doing standup comedy in the New York cabaret scene in the early 1950s.

She was married to composer John Strauss, with whom she had two sons. Andy Strauss died in 1999, and she wrote her memoir “The Facts of My Life,” with Larry Strauss.

She is survived by a sister, her son Larry, three grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Donations may be made to the The Actors Fund, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (Pan-Can) or the Clare Foundation.

More stars we've lost in 2018:

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Celebrities who died in 2018
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Celebrities who died in 2018

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Former child star Donna Butterworth died at 62 in March. Read more here.

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