Charlotte Rae

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her two-hour Archive interview, Charlotte Rae (1926-2018) talks about her early life, including majoring in drama in Northwestern, and appearing on Broadway in “The Threepenny Oprea.” She recalls early television roles, including on The Phil Silvers Show, and her role as “Sylvia Schanuser” on Car 54, Where Are You?, the classic comedy series created by Nat Hiken and co-starring Al Lewis. She speaks of guest-starring roles on All in the Family, a semi-regular role on Hot L Baltimore, and landing the role of “Mrs. Garrett," the maid for the Drummond family, on Diff’rent Strokes. She details spinning off her Diff’rent Stokes character (now known as “Edna Garrett”) for the long running series The Facts of Life. Rae describes her seven-year run on that show, including her co-stars, the development of her character over the years, and her Emmy nomination. She concludes by talking about how roles for women on television have changed over the years, her mentors, and how she’d like to be remembered. Nancy Harrington conducted the interview on November 10, 2016 in Westwood, CA.

"'The Facts of Life' was about growing up, family, love. And working our problems. I had a lot of input with issues like suicide, divorce, death. I’m really very proud."  

Highlights
Charlotte Rae on how she came to be cast as "Mrs. Garrett" on Diff'rent Strokes
04:41
Charlotte Rae on guest-starring on All in the Family, and on working with Jean Stapleton on the show
02:44
Charlotte Rae on attending Northwestern and majoring in drama along with fellow student Paul Lynde
05:04
Charlotte Rae on appearing as "Sylvia Schnauser" on Car 54, Where Are You?, created by Nat Hiken and co-starring Al Lewis and Joe E. Ross
03:01
Charlotte Rae on developing the role of "Edna Garrett" on The Facts of Life over the years
02:15
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on her early interest in drama; on attending Northwestern and majoring in drama along with fellow student Paul Lynde
13:56
On her first television job singing weekly on The DuMont Television Network, while she was appearing on Broadway in "The Threepenny Opera" and rehearsing for "The Pajama Game"; on her first New York apartment, and on having Cloris Leachman as a roommate
10:38
On various live television bloopers she witnessed or was involved in; on her experience with the Hollywood Blacklist; on guest-starring on The Phil Silvers Show, and co-starring as "Sylvia Schnauser" on Car 54, Where Are You?
12:43
On performing on The Ed Sullivan Show; on moving to Los Angeles and appearing on many shows, and on guest-starring on All in the Family; on becoming a regular on Norman Lear's Hot L Baltimore, and declining a role on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
18:57

Chapter 2

On working with Milton Berle on The Jackie Gleason Show; on how she came to be cast as "Mrs. Garrett" on Diff'rent Strokes; on Gary Coleman as "Arnold Drummond" on Diff'rent Strokes
08:00
On her transition from Diff'rent Strokes to the spin-off The Facts of Life; on the premise of The Facts of Life, and on how the character of "Edna Garrett" changed from Diff'rent Strokes to The Facts of Life; on the original cast of girls on The Facts of Life, and on recommending the producers cast Mindy Cohn as "Natalie Green"
09:52
On Geri Jewell as "Cousin Geri" on The Facts of Life; on developing the role of "Edna Garrett" on The Facts of Life over the years; on her personal relationship with the actresses who played the girls on The Facts of Life, and on being recognized from the show
08:06
On the weight issues of the girls on The Facts of Life, how she felt about the development of her character on the show, and her decision to leave; on working with director John Bowab on The Facts of Life; on the shooting schedule of The Facts of Life, and on being recognized from the show
09:51
On being nominated for an Emmy for The Facts of Life, and on leaving the show; on the legacy of The Facts of Life, and on her post-Facts of Life roles; on what she likes about acting
07:04
On how roles for women on television have changed over the years, and on how television has changed since she started; on mentors in her career; on advice to aspiring actors, and on how she'd like to be remembered
07:07
Shows

All in the Family

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Charlotte Rae on guest-starring on All in the Family, and on working with Jean Stapleton on the show
02:44

Appointment with Adventure

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Charlotte Rae on a blooper she witnessed on The Ed Sullivan Show, and on a blooper she was involved with on Appointment With Adventure
02:21

Car 54, Where Are You?

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Charlotte Rae on appearing as "Sylvia Schnauser" on Car 54, Where Are You?, created by Nat Hiken and co-starring Al Lewis and Joe E. Ross
03:00

Diff'rent Strokes

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Charlotte Rae on how she came to be cast as "Mrs. Garrett" on Diff'rent Strokes
04:41
Charlotte Rae on Gary Coleman as "Arnold Drummond" on Diff'rent Strokes
01:33
Charlotte Rae on her transition from Diff'rent Strokes to the spin-off, The Facts of Life
05:17

DuPont Show of the Month, The

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Charlotte Rae on a blooper she was involved with on The DuPont Show of the Month
02:27

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Charlotte Rae on a blooper she witnessed on The Ed Sullivan Show, and on a blooper she was involved with on Appointment With Adventure
02:21
Charlotte Rae on performing on The Ed Sullivan Show
02:16

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Charlotte Rae on being nominated for an Emmy for The Facts of Life, and on leaving the show
02:14

Facts of Life, The

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Charlotte Rae on her transition from Diff'rent Strokes to the spin-off, The Facts of Life
05:17
Charlotte Rae on the premise of The Facts of Life, and on how the character of "Edna Garrett" changed from Diff'rent Strokes to The Facts of Life
02:39
Charlotte Rae on the original cast of girls on The Facts of Life, and on recommending the producers cast Mindy Cohn as "Natalie Green"
01:54
Charlotte Rae on Geri Jewell as "Cousin Geri" on The Facts of Life
01:14
Charlotte Rae on developing the role of "Edna Garrett" on The Facts of Life over the years
02:15
Charlotte Rae on her personal relationship with the actresses who played the girls on The Facts of Life, and on being recognized from the show
04:35
Charlotte Rae on the weight issues of the girls on The Facts of Life, how she felt about the development of her character on the show, and her decision to leave
05:14
Charlotte Rae on working with director John Bowab on The Facts of Life
01:29
Charlotte Rae on the shooting schedule of The Facts of Life, and on being recognized from the show
03:06
Charlotte Rae on being nominated for an Emmy for The Facts of Life, and on leaving the show
02:14
Charlotte Rae on the legacy of The Facts of Life, and on her post-Facts of Life roles
03:19

Hot L Baltimore

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Charlotte Rae on becoming a regular on Norman Lear's Hot L Baltimore, and declining a role on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman because of Louise Lasser
06:21

Jackie Gleason Show, The

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Charlotte Rae on working with Milton Berle on The Jackie Gleason Show
01:44

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Charlotte Rae on becoming a regular on Norman Lear's Hot L Baltimore, and declining a role on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman because of Louise Lasser
06:21

McMillan & Wife

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Charlotte Rae on moving to Los Angeles and appearing on many shows, including McMillian & Wife and The Partridge Family
04:00

Partridge Family, The

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Charlotte Rae on moving to Los Angeles and appearing on many shows, including McMillian & Wife and The Partridge Family
04:00

Phil Silvers Show, The aka You'll Never Get Rich aka Sergeant Bilko

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Charlotte Rae on guest-starring on The Phil Silvers Show
02:50

Sesame Street

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Charlotte Rae on appearing as "Molly the Mail Lady" on Sesame Street
01:23
Topics

Advice

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Charlotte Rae on advice to aspiring actors, and how she'd like to be remembered
03:01

Bloopers

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Charlotte Rae on a blooper she witnessed on The Ed Sullivan Show, and on a blooper she was involved with on Appointment With Adventure
02:21
Charlotte Rae on a blooper she was involved with on The DuPont Show of the Month
02:27

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Charlotte Rae on mentors in her career
02:25

Diversity in Television

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Charlotte Rae on how roles for women on television have changed over the years, and on how television has changed since she started
01:39

Emmy Awards

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Charlotte Rae on being nominated for an Emmy for The Facts of Life, and on leaving the show
02:14

Hollywood Blacklist

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Charlotte Rae on her experience with the Hollywood Blacklist
02:02

Industry Crossroads

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Charlotte Rae on her experience with the Hollywood Blacklist
02:02

Pivotal Career Moments

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Charlotte Rae on mentors in her career
02:25

Television Industry

View Topic
Charlotte Rae on her experience with the Hollywood Blacklist
02:02
Charlotte Rae on how roles for women on television have changed over the years, and on how television has changed since she started
01:39
Charlotte Rae on advice to aspiring actors, and how she'd like to be remembered
03:01

Women

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Charlotte Rae on how roles for women on television have changed over the years, and on how television has changed since she started
01:39
Professions

Actress

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Charlotte Rae on what she likes about acting
01:25
Charlotte Rae on advice to aspiring actors, and how she'd like to be remembered
03:01

Performers

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Charlotte Rae on what she likes about acting
01:25
Charlotte Rae on advice to aspiring actors, and how she'd like to be remembered
03:01
Genres

Children's Programming

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Charlotte Rae on appearing as "Molly the Mail Lady" on Sesame Street
01:24

Comedy Series

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Charlotte Rae on guest-starring on The Phil Silvers Show
02:50
Charlotte Rae on appearing as "Sylvia Schnauser" on Car 54, Where Are You?, created by Nat Hiken and co-starring Al Lewis and Joe E. Ross
03:00
Charlotte Rae on guest-starring on All in the Family, and on working with Jean Stapleton on the show
02:44
Charlotte Rae on becoming a regular on Norman Lear's Hot L Baltimore, and declining a role on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
06:21
Charlotte Rae on playing "Mrs. Garrett" on Diff'rent Strokes
11:33
Charlotte Rae on playing "Edna Garrett" on The Facts of Life
28:09

Commercials

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Charlotte Rae on appearing in several commercials in the '60s and '70s
02:06

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Charlotte Rae on performing on The Ed Sullivan Show
02:16
Charlotte Rae on working with Milton Berle on The Jackie Gleason Show
01:44
People

Milton Berle

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Charlotte Rae on working with Milton Berle on The Jackie Gleason Show
01:44

Gary Coleman

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Charlotte Rae on Gary Coleman as "Arnold Drummond" on Diff'rent Strokes
01:33

Jackie Gleason

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Charlotte Rae on working with Milton Berle on The Jackie Gleason Show
01:44

Nat Hiken

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Charlotte Rae on appearing as "Sylvia Schnauser" on Car 54, Where Are You?, created by Nat Hiken and co-starring Al Lewis and Joe E. Ross
03:00

Geri Jewell

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Charlotte Rae on Geri Jewell as "Cousin Geri" on The Facts of Life
01:14

Louise Lasser

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Charlotte Rae on becoming a regular on Norman Lear's Hot L Baltimore, and declining a role on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman because of Louise Lasser
06:21

Cloris Leachman

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Charlotte Rae on her first New York apartment, and on having Cloris Leachman as a roommate
04:37

Norman Lear

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Charlotte Rae on becoming a regular on Norman Lear's Hot L Baltimore, and declining a role on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman because of Louise Lasser
06:21

Al Lewis

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Charlotte Rae on appearing as "Sylvia Schnauser" on Car 54, Where Are You?, created by Nat Hiken and co-starring Al Lewis and Joe E. Ross
03:00

Paul Lynde

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Charlotte Rae on attending Northwestern and majoring in drama along with fellow student Paul Lynde
05:04

Joe E. Ross

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Charlotte Rae on appearing as "Sylvia Schnauser" on Car 54, Where Are You?, created by Nat Hiken and co-starring Al Lewis and Joe E. Ross
03:00

Jean Stapleton

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Charlotte Rae on guest-starring on All in the Family, and on working with Jean Stapleton on the show
02:44

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