According to Deadline, Rae confirmed she had bone and pancreatic cancer past year.
The Tony and Emmy nominated actress appeared on the popular 1980s sitcom The Facts of Life for almost 10 years, sharing her personal struggles with the writers for the show to keep things realistic.
Rae was hailed for her long career on stage as well as for her signature TV role as boarding school headmistress Edna Garrett on the teen-friendly NBC sitcom that ran from 1978 to 1988.
Rae gained fame on TV but she made her name as a thespian in the 1950s in such stage in roles ranging from "The Threepenny Opera" to "Li'l Abner". "I'm not in any pain right now", she explained at the time.
The Milwaukee native, who attended but did not graduate from Northwestern University, was a Tony-nominated Broadway star and successful TV character actress when she was hired on "Diff'rent Strokes". I'm feeling so terrific and so glad to be above ground. She revealed her mother, sister and uncle died of pancreatic cancer and that she was cancer-free after six months of chemotherapy.
She played the mother of Woody Allen's character in the movie "Bananas". She finally left the show in 1986 for health reasons, replaced by Cloris Leachman. "I'm grateful for the life I've already had".
Garrett continued to work frequently later in life, guest-starring in select episodes of Sisters, ER, The King of Queens and Pretty Little Liars. "If you saw it, you remember her reaching for Treat Williams".
She is survived by her sister, Miriam Guten, and her son, Larry.
"Comedian Larry Wilmore said", My first tv gig a millennium of moons ago was on The Facts of Life.