This Facts Of Life Actress Received A Devastating Diagnosis, But Her Reaction To The News Was Moving

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Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Eighties sitcom The Facts of Life followed a group of pupils at an all-girls boarding school who were making that tricky transition to womanhood. Sadly, its leading cast member was forced to face the prospect of a more drastic transition when she received a devastating diagnosis. Here’s a look at the heartwarming manner in which she dealt with the news.

Image: NBC Television/Getty Images
Image: NBC Television/Getty Images

Having already played housekeeper Edna Garrett in NBC sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, Charlotte Rae then reprised the role for its spin-off The Facts of Life. This time around, Garrett was a housemother to a group of pupils at a girls-only New York boarding school. The show debuted in 1979 and stayed on the air for nine years.

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Image: Frederick M. Brown/Newsmakers
Image: Frederick M. Brown/Newsmakers

Other main cast members included Kim Fields as gossipmonger Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey, Lisa Whelchel playing pampered brat Blair Warner and Mindy Cohn as naive Natalie Green. Following a second-season retool, The Facts of Life became the highest-watched comedy on the NBC network, surpassing even the show that it was derived from. And in 1985 the cast was joined by a young – and then unknown – George Clooney.

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