By Sadie Gennis,
Rae was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2017, seven years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Rae first played Edna Garrett in Diff’rent Strokes in 1978 before starring on the spin-off The Facts of Life for seven seasons from 1979 to 1988. In the popular NBC comedy, Rae played a housemother at an all-girls boarding school. (Jessica Biel and Leonardo DiCaprio are currently eyeing a reboot of the series.) Rae earned an Emmy nomination in 1982 for her performance on the series but lost to Carol Kane for Taxi.
In addition to acting, Rae was an accomplished singer and dancer. She recorded a solo album, Songs I Taught My Mother, in 1955 and received two Tony nominations in the ’60s, including for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and Best Actress in a Play.
She is survived by her sons Larry and Andrew Strauss.
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