Charlotte made her debut on Broadway in the production of Three wishes for Jamie in 1952.
In 1944, Charlotte graduated from Shorewood High School, in Shorewood, IL.
Charlotte Rae stands at an even five feet tall.
While in college, Charlotte was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority.
In 1982, Charlotte was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in "The Facts of Life."
Charlotte Rae has sung "The Facts of Life" theme on two occasions, during the first season of the show and at the TVLand Awards.
She has played one of the few characters to leave a show to do a spinoff, but leave the show that was spun off although she did stay through most of "The Facts Of Life."
Charlotte Rae later married John Strauss.They had two sons, Larry, and Andrew.
She had an older sister, Beverly Ann,(whom passed away in 1998 after a long and courageous fight with cancer) and has a younger sister, Mimi.
She claims that as a child she always wanted to be in show business just to feel like she fit in.
She has battled alcoholism successfully.
Rae first gained widespread fame in the 1961–1963 sitcom, Car 54, Where Are You? as the memorable Sylvia Schnauser.
A respected stage actress since at least the 1950s (when she appeared Off-Broadway in The Threepenny Opera).
In 1982 Charlotte had to go to the hospital to get a pacemaker for her heart.
She created the role of Mammy Yokum in the Broadway musical "Lil' Abner".
She earned Tony nominations for her work in the musical "Pickwick" (based on the Charles Dickens work) and the play "Morning, Noon, and Night".
One of her sons, Larry, is a teacher in south Central L.A.
Charlotte divorced her husband, composer John Strauss, before starting the "Diff'rent Strokes" TV series.
Charlotte Rae attended Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.
Charlotte Rae was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series at the 1982 Emmys.
The character of Beverly Ann (Mrs. Garrett's sister) was named after Charlotte Rae's real-life sister Beverly Ann.
The character of Andy, played by MacKenzie Astin, was named after Charlotte Rae's autistic son.
The character of Natalie was named after one of Charlotte Rae's best friends - the character was created especially for Mindy Cohn.
In season 2 when Nancy joined the cast, the girls often swore at themselves when they would mess up a line or make a mistake. Charlotte Rae would sometimes get annoyed at them and scold them for swearing. Sometimes lines with curse words would work their way into the scripts little by little; but only words like "hell" or "damn" could be used on the show. In the episode "Next Door" the script called for Mrs. Garrett to say the word "hell" while shouting at Jo. It took her a lot or practice to get it just right. They did the scene about 20 times because Nancy could not stop laughing at Charlotte when she would get to the word 'hell'. And then when Nancy finally got it down, Lisa would laugh. They had to change the script so that Blair would leave the room. After that episode Charlotte no longer gave the girls grief about the girls swearing.
Charlotte Rae: Because of the power of television, I was visible to everybody all over the world. But there are many things in the theater that are more fulfilling and that I look forward to doing more. But really, I love it all: theater, film, television.
Charlotte Rae: I can't even go to Barbados without people wanting to hug me and 'Oh, Mrs. Garrett!', you know, it really had an impact on their lives.
Charlotte Rae: You can take wonderfully talented actors, wonderfully talented writers and producers, and, uh, do a wonderful show...but if it doesn't hit with the public in two minutes, it's bye-bye.
Charlotte Rae: They very seldom let me lose my cool. They made me like I was Polly Perfect, which was ridiculous so that when I bump into kids on the street they'd say 'I wish my Mom were like you.'