'Facts of Life' Star Charlotte Rae Diagnosed With Bone Cancer at 91
By Jackie Willis
Charlotte Rae reveals she's been diagnosed with bone cancer, seven years after battling pancreatic cancer.
"Last Monday, I found out I have bone cancer," the 91-year-old actress, who played Edna Garrett on Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life, tells People. "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."
Rae just celebrated her 91st birthday on Saturday, and, according to People, was to start treatment on Thursday, but decided to cancel. “I wanted to think about it first,” she explains. “I think I’m going to go for it. The side effects were not too bad when I did it originally. I’ve had a great life, but I have so many wonderful things happening. I’d like to choose life. I’m grateful for the life I’ve already had.”
She goes on to offer up some advice for getting older. “At 91, every day is a birthday," Rae notes. "I want to tell everybody to celebrate every day, to savor the day and be good to yourself, love yourself, and then you can be good to others and be of service to others.”
In 2015, Rae was also quite candid about her personal life when she spoke to ET about her memoir, The Facts of My Life. Rae chatted openly about her book, which addresses her ex-husband John Strauss' bisexuality and the body shaming she claims occurred on set of The Facts of Life.
Check out our exclusive interview with the beloved actress: