Monday, August 06, 2018

Remembering Charlotte Rae of The Facts of Life, Diff'rent Strokes; Disney Channel Gets New Sitcom

Charlotte Rae

Actress Charlotte Rae, who starred as Edna Garrett in Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life, has died. She died on August 5 at her home in Los Angeles, California. In 2017, she was diagnosed with bone cancer. Ms. Rae was 92.

Rae made her television debut in a 1954 episode of The United States Steel Hour. Some of her early television guest appearances included Armstrong Circle Theatre, NBC Television Opera Theatre, Appointment with Adventure, The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, The DuPont Show of the Month, The Phil Silvers Show, Play of the Week, Way Out and From These Roots.

She played the recurring role of Sylvia Schnauser, the wife of Officer Leo Schnauser (Al Lewis), in 10 episodes of Car 54, Where Are You? from 1961 to 1963. Some of her guest appearances in 1970s sitcoms included Temperatures Rising, The Partridge Family, The Paul Lynde Show, All in the Family, Good Times, Phyllis, Barney Miller, All's Fair, CPO Sharkey and Szysznyk. She appeared as Molly the Mail Lady in the third season (1971-1972) of Sesame Street.

Rae received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Drama for her role as Helen in the 1975 CBS television movie Queen of the Stardust Ballroom.

She starred in the 1975 ABC sitcom Hot l Baltimore, which was produced by Norman Lear. She played Mrs. Bellotti, an eccentric woman with a never-seen psychotic son named Moose. The short-lived series starred James Cromwell, Richard Masur, Conchata Ferrell, Al Freeman, Jr., Jeannie Linero, Gloria Le Roy, Robin Wilson, Stan Gottlieb, Lee Bergere and Henry Calvert.

Diff'rent Strokes

Rae next starred as Edna Garrett in Diff'rent Strokes, which premiered on NBC on November 3, 1978. Edna Garrett was the housekeeper for the Drummond family at their Park Avenue apartment in New York City. Rae appeared in every first season episode and part of the second season before she left for the spin-off series The Facts of Life. The first and second seasons of Diff'rent Strokes also starred Conrad Bain, Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges and Dana Plato. Rae would return for the 1984 episode The Wedding.

The Facts of Life

The backdoor pilot episode on Diff'rent Strokes titled The Girls School on May 4, 1979, led to the spin-off series The Facts of Life. Rae starred as Mrs. Garrett (Mrs. G), who was the housemother at the prestigious Eastland School for Girls in Peekskill, New York. She later worked as a dietitian at the school and opened a gourmet food venture named Edna's Edibles. Rae starred in the first seven seasons before her sister Beverly Ann Stickle (Cloris Leachman) took over the shop and helped look after the girls. She performed some of the lyrics for the first season theme song. The Facts of Life main cast included Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn and Nancy McKeon (1980-1988).

Rae received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the role in 1982. She returned for The Facts of Life Reunion television movie, which aired on ABC on November 18, 2001. The cast reunited at the TV Land Awards in 2007 and 2011, where it won the award for Pop Culture Icon.

Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included The Love Boat, 227, Baby Talk, Can't Hurry Love (which starred Nancy McKeon), The King of Queens and Girl Meets World. Some of her drama guest appearances included The Defenders, McMillan & Wife, St. Elsewhere, Murder, She Wrote, Thunder in Paradise, Sisters, Diagnosis: Murder, Strong Medicine, ER, Life and Pretty Little Liars.

Rae was also known for her voice work. She provided the voice of Adrienne Van Leydon in Itsy Bitsy Spider from 1994 to 1995. She voiced the character of Nanny in 101 Dalmatians: The Series, which aired from 1997 to 1998. In 1993, she voiced the character Aunt Pristine Figg in Tom and Jerry: The Movie.

She also had a long career as a stage actress. She received Tony Award nominations for Pickwick in 1966 and Morning, Noon and Night in 1969. Some of her other Broadway credits included Three Wishes for Jamie (1952), The Threepenny Opera (1954) and Li'l Abner (1956).

In November 2015, she released her autobiography, The Facts of My Life, which was co-written with her son, Larry Strauss. The book was the first opportunity for Charlotte fans to explore the fascinating story of her extraordinary life: poignant and hilarious, a story of courage and triumph, one that speaks for a generation of women breaking barriers, taking on challenges, overcoming personal tragedy, and paving the way for others.

Ms. Rae was wonderful as Mrs. G. She was very much the glue who held the show together. We thank her for the many laughs and hours of entertainment she brought us over the years. She will be deeply missed.

Share your memories on our Facts of Life message board. View photos in our galleries.

The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes can currently be seen on MeTV. The Facts of Life also airs on Logo. We'll keep you posted on any tribute marathons.




Gabby Duran & the Unsittables

Gabby Duran & the Unsittables has received a straight-to-series order, and production is currently underway in Vancouver for a 2019 premiere on Disney Channel. Showrunners and writers Mike Alber and Gabe Snyder (Kirby Buckets) serve as executive producers alongside Joe Nussbaum (Just Add Magic). Nzingha Stewart (Grey's Anatomy, Good Girls) will direct the first episode. Based upon the novel written by Elise Allen and Daryle Conners, this single-cam live-action comedy series stars 12-year-old newcomer Kylie Cantrall as the titular character.

Gabby Duran constantly feels like she's living in the shadows of her uber-polished, successful mother and whip-smart younger sister. She finally finds her moment to shine when she inadvertently lands an out-of-this-world job to babysit an unruly group of very important extraterrestrial children who are hiding out on earth with their families, disguised as everyday kids. Fearless and unapologetically bold, Gabby steps up to the challenge to protect these youngsters and their secret identities, and prove she's the best babysitter in the galaxy.

Starring alongside Cantrall is Maxwell Acee Donovan (Good Kids) as Gabby's bestie and conspiracy-theorist Wesley; Coco Christo (We Take the Low Road) as Gabby's overachieving little sis Olivia; Nathan Lovejoy (The Code) as the wacky Principal Swift; and Valery Ortiz (Switched at Birth) as Gabby's caring and career-driven mom Dina. Recurring star Callan Farris (Kings) will play Jeremy, Gabby's first babysitting assignment.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, June 28

none scheduled

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 27)

Tuesday, June 28

  • Simu Liu (Kim's Convenience) - Catch Simu on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea guest hosts Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Steve Carell (Space Force/The Office/Come to Papa/Watching Ellie) - Catch Steve on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. He talks about Minions 2 and Minions on the Plaza on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Wanda Sykes (The Upshaws/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Mr. Iglesias/Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect/Suddenly Susan) - Sherri chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Joel Kim Booster (Loot/Sunnyside) - Joel is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Kym Whitley (Young & Hungry/Animal Practice/Sparks) and Finesse Mitchell (Outmatched/A.N.T. Farm) - Kym and Finesse guest co-host a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Selena Gomez (Only Murders in the Building/Wizards of Waverly Place), Steve Martin (Only Murders in the Building) and Martin Short (Only Murders in the Building/Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Selena, Steve and Martin are guests on E!'s Daily Pop at 11am.
  • Carlos (Big Time Rush) and Alexa PenaVega (Ruby & the Rockits) - Carlos and Alexa are guests on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 9:40am.
  • Kim Fields (The Upshaws/Living Single/The Facts of Life/Baby, I'm Back) - NBC's Today catches up with Kim in the 9am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March-June)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Fourth Season Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release) Young Rock - Season One The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season One

03/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Eight
03/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) (DVD)
03/15 - Head of the Class - The Complete Fourth Season
03/15 - The Proud Family - The Complete Original Series - Anniversary Collection
03/22 - The Honeymooners Specials - The Complete Collection
03/29 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Blu-ray) (DVD)
03/29 - Young Rock - Season One
04/05 - Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/26 - The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season
04/26 - Jackie Gleason TV Treasures - 70th Anniversary Collection (including Honeymooners Rarities)
05/03 - No Activity - Season Three
05/13 - The Donna Reed Show - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Time Life)
05/31 - Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
06/14 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Eleventh Season
06/14 - Hacks - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
06/14 - Rutherford Falls - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
06/21 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season One / Season Two / Season Three (07/26) / Season Four (07/26)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

06/28 - COZI TV's 3rd Rock 3rd of July Marathon and Rambler Sweepstakes; TV Legend Carol Burnett Joins Better Call Saul
06/27 - Heartwarming Comedy Series Trying Returns July 22; Retta Is Back with More on HGTV
06/26 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 27, 2022)
06/25 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Peacock Renews Killing It for Season 2; CBS Sets Fall Premiere Dates
06/24 - CBS Fall 2022 Premiere Dates; Showtime Greenlights Pilot with Mandy Patinkin and Wife
06/23 - Peacock Renews Killing It for Season 2; Jack McBrayer's Kindness Show on Apple TV+
06/22 - Disney Brings American Housewife and More to Syndication; The Bob's Burgers Movie Will Stream on Hulu and HBO Max
06/21 - HBO's The Rehearsal Premieres July 15; IFC Series Sherman's Showcase Returns in Fall
06/20 - Jimmy Kimmel Live! Summer Guest Hosts; Solar Opposites Returns July 13 on Hulu
06/19 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 20, 2022)
06/18 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Donald Faison and Jon Cryer Join NBC Comedy Pilot; Wendy Williams Show Comes to an End
06/17 - ABC Fall 2022 Premiere Dates; Remembering Philip Baker Hall, Lt. Bookman on Seinfeld
06/16 - Rob Lowe Netflix Sitcom Rounds Out Cast; New PLL Premieres July 28 on HBO Max
06/15 - Leah Remini Joins the So You Think You Can Dance Judging Panel; New Dark Comedy Bad Sisters to Debut This August on Apple TV+
06/14 - HBO Max Renews Starstruck for a Third Season; Max Original Comedy Series from Issa Rae Debuts July 21
06/13 - Martin: The Reunion Premieres June 16 on BET+; Apple TV+ Renews Musical Comedy Schmigadoon! for Season Two
06/12 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 13, 2022)
06/11 - SitcomsOnline Digest: First Look at Upcoming Munsters Movie; Schmigadoon! Renewed for Second Season
06/10 - Disney Channel's Hamster & Gretel Rounds Out Cast; The Muppets Mayhem Adds More to Cast
06/09 - Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Early Kickoff to Christmas in July; Dirty Daddy: The Bob Saget Tribute Premieres Tomorrow (June 10)
06/08 - FX Renews What We Do in the Shadows for Seasons 5 and 6, Ahead of Season 4 Premiere; Hallmark Channel Scores in Ratings Even in Summer
06/07 - Fox Fall 2022 Schedule and Premiere Dates; Eva Longoria Produced Gordita Chronicles Premieres June 23 on HBO Max
06/06 - Antenna TV Presents The Sunday Special; Apple TV+ Comedy Loot Premieres June 24
06/05 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 6, 2022)
06/04 - SitcomsOnline Digest: New Beavis and Butt-Head Special and Remastered Episodes with Original Music Videos Headed to Paramount+
06/03 - The CW Adds More to Summer 2022 Schedule, Including Comedy; HBO Renews Hit Show for Season 4; Remembering Charles Siebert and Seinfeld Producer George Shapiro
06/02 - Antenna TV's Father's Day Feast Marathon; HBO Max Renews Our Flag Means Death
06/01 - Showtime Orders New Comedy Series Entitled; CBS Brings in Reality for Summer 2022
05/31 - Rowan Atkinson's Netflix Comedy Series Lands June 24; CBS's Summer of Ghosts
05/30 - Memorial Day 2022 TV Sitcom Marathons
05/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 30, 2022)
05/28 - SitcomsOnline Digest: First Look at Night Court Reboot Cast; Ellen Comes to an End After 19 Seasons