Charlotte Rae, who was known mostly for her role as Mrs. Garrett on both Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life, has died at the age of 92. She spoke to People about two cancer diagnoses in April, 2017. At that time, she had beat pancreatic cancer and had just been diagnosed with bone cancer. She described her experience with pancreatic cancer.
"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 even knew."
In her role as housekeeper Edna Garrett, Charlotte Rae became a favorite character, and when the show was eventually canceled, she proposed a spin-off for the character. The network liked the idea, and The Facts of Life was born. She left the show in 1986, and it was canceled in 1988.