Charlotte Rae, Best Known as Mrs. Garrett from “The Facts of Life,” to Sign Latest Autobiography at The Santa Monica Library

Photo Courtesy of BHBPR

Photo Courtesy of BHBPR

Aaah The Facts of Life, anyone who was more than just a speck in some joker’s eye during the early 1980s remembers that one!:  Mrs. Garrett in particular as the loveable, sometimes harried, but always hip and supportive housemother.  If someone told you today that the now ninety-year-old actress who filled her shoes was still running around in them, doing all manner Mrs. Garretty things (read awesome, fun, and nurturing), would you believe them?  Well question this no further because the time is nigh to come to this giddy realization and to learn everything of import she has accomplished since her last conversation with Natalie, Jo, Blair, and Tootie and many-a-thing she did before said character had ever been invented!

In her very first autobiography entitled “The Facts of My Life” co-authored by son Larry Strauss, actress Charlotte Rae explores said existence and a whole lot more. And on December 12th between 3:00-5:00 pm at the Santa Monica Library’s Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium, you can even ask her questions to this effect for a bodacious book signing to beat all book signings!

Photo Courtesy of David Laurell/Life after 50

Photo Courtesy of David Laurell/Life after 50

Best known as Mrs. Garrett on both Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life respectively, Charlotte Rae’s most recent acting stint met in collaboration with another early 80s icon in the form of (STILL-NOT-Jesse’s-girl’s-boyfriend) Rick Springfield along with the timeless and legendary presence of none other than Meryl Streep in her role as Oma in Ricki and the Flash! One of Norman Lear’s favorite performers, she appeared on many-a-retrochic-show from everything to All in the Family, to The Partridge Family, to The Love Boat, oh and The United States Steel Hour, but is notably well remembered from the early 1960s sitcom Car 54, Where are You? as Leo Schnauzer’s (played by Al Lewis) wife Sylvia Schnauzer.  Young audiences can see her to this day as Molly the Mail Lady on Sesame Street. Life however, was not always as jolly as a jaunt down said thoroughfare inhabited by the likes of Ernie, Bert, Big Bird, Luis, and that guy who took over for Mr. Hooper and now runs the store…whatsisname…?

Fascinating and harrowing topics of note up for discussion and in “The Facts of My Life” will include: The discovery that her husband of 25 years, and a noted Grammy Winner to boot, was living life in the closet for the entirety of their marriage, anecdotes pertaining to some of her classmates at Northwestern, including Paul Lynde, Patricia Neal, and Cloris Leachman, the heartrending parental experience of having a child in Bellvue labeled “a danger to himself and others”, any and all information you would want to know concerning Car 54, Where are you?, Sesame Street, and Ricki and the Flash, anecdotes surrounding “Facts…”—natch and all its righteous cast members up to and including Molly Ringwald and George Clooney (hubba hubba), and lastly (and least not for the purposes of this article) her varying and sundry friendships with the likes of Rock Hudson, Jerry Stiller, Rick Springfield, Jean Stapleton, Geri Jerwell, Martin Sheen, Angela Lansbury, Robert Redford, Woody Allen, Norman Lear, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and many, many more!

Photo by Jennifer K. Hugus for The Los Angeles Beat

Photo by Jennifer K. Hugus for The Los Angeles Beat

And lest we forget, Comedy Legend Carl Reiner whose praise of Ms. Rae cannot escape his lips quickly enough, “It’s about time a book came out about one of the most talented and beloved performers in the American Theater. Charlotte is the consummate actress, comedienne, entertainer. Her work on stage and screen is always hilarious and somehow also gets you right in the gut.  Her story is every bit as brilliant.  Read it and smile!”

Photo by Jennifer K. Hugus for The Los Angeles Beat

Photo by Jennifer K. Hugus for The Los Angeles Beat

Ms. Rae’s book signings have garnered utmost attention at Sadri’s in New York and Barnes and Noble in Los Angeles to standing room only crowds featuring throngs of fans and celeb-friend aficionados alike; most notably JoAnne Worley, Anna Maria Albergetti, Ilene Graff, Mary Jo Catlett, Kate Linder, Steven Wishnoff, Geri Jewell, Patricia Morrison, John Bowab, Laura Pursell, Barbara Van Orden, Daisy Egan, Jerry Stiller and Gilbert Gottfried! So be sure and alight the steps of The Martin Luther King room early or you may be bum rushed out of a seat-(for your bum)!!! (ba dum bum!)

For more information on Ms. Rae’s upcoming appearance, please visit:

http://newsroom.smgov.net/2015/11/19/santa-monica-public-library-presents-charlotte-rae-the-facts-of-my-life

Jennifer K. Hugus

About Jennifer K. Hugus

Jennifer K. Hugus was born at a very young age. At an even earlier age, she just knew she would one day write for the LA Beat! Having grown up in Massachusetts, France, and Denmark, she is a noted fan of Asian Cuisine. She studied ballet at the Royal Danish Ballet Theatre and acting at U.S.C. in their prestigious BFA drama program. She also makes her own jewelry out of paints and canvas when she isn’t working on writing absurdist plays and comparatively mainstream screenplays. Jennifer would like to be a KID when she grows up!
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