Rae had been battling bone cancer. "Last Monday, I found out I have bone cancer", she said in a statement. Rae left after its seventh year, however, explaining later, "I needed some time for the rest of my life". I'd like to choose life. In the popular NBC comedy, Rae played a housemother at an all-girls boarding school. There she was cast in the short-lived Norman Lear sitcom "Hot L Baltimore" and a similarly unsuccessful variety show hosted by Rich Little before scoring "Diff'rent Strokes", on which Mrs. Garrett was the family's housekeeper.
She was known to give the children a helping hand through serious topics including dating, depression, alcohol and even AIDS. 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 cast also celebrated the show's 35th anniversary with a reunion at PaleyFest in 2014. She had two sons, Larry and Andrew, with her ex-husband, John Strauss, who she divorced in 1976 after he came out as bi-sexual.
She also spoke about her 44-years of sobriety.
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...."
Comedians Kathy Griffin and Gilbert Gottfried, as well as Broadway star Audra McDonald, also paid their respects via social media.
"She was so sweet, funny, wise, lovely, and brilliant.' tweeted Audra of a photo of herself and Charlotte, adding: 'She will be so missed".
'Differnt Strokes would no have been the same without you #CharlotteRae.
Spokesman Harlan Boll said Rae died Sunday at her Los Angeles home.
'At 91, every day is a birthday.
Leonardo and Jessica are reportedly in the process of seeking a writer and network for the production which is still in its early stages.