On a beautiful Los Angeles afternoon in a high-rise overlooking the city, contributing writers Geri Jewell and David Zimmerman had a wonderful visit with the legendary actress Charlotte Rae. Both Jewell and Rae starred in the 80s sitcom The Facts of Life. They were joined by publicist and friend, B. Harlan Boll, for a loving get-together of memories with a woman who became a light for any kid that was alone and who needed a mom.
Geri Jewell: These are for you. [Handing Charlotte Rae a vase full of flowers]
David Zimmerman: I saw that and it said, “This is for Charlotte.”
Charlotte Rae: Oh, thank you. Come on in. I’ve got a few goodies around.
Zimmerman: Oh, how yummy!
Jewell: I just turned 60 in September. Can you believe it? Where does the time go? Hey, here’s a new joke for you Charlotte: I’ve just been signed to a new series called The Alternative Facts of Life.
I knew you’d like it!
Rae: We’re so lucky. Let’s just look at the sky, look at the clouds.
Jewell: You have an amazing view.
Rae: I am so grateful, I cannot tell you. I can’t believe I’ve been able to make a living in this field.
Jewell: It can be a very difficult field, for sure.
Rae: I come out in the morning, I look out the window and I say, “Good morning, world!” It’s so nice.
Zimmerman: Where did you both first meet?
Jewell: I think we met the night I performed at the second Media Access awards, correct?
Rae: Yes. Fern Field had you do that role, right?
Jewell: Yes, Fern did! We met briefly, and then we didn’t see each other again until I appeared on The Facts of Life, and that was in December of 1980. I was a little squirt.
Rae: It was so important to have this terrifically talented girl. You added so much to the show.
Zimmerman: I was listening to your book, because I love to hear people tell their own stories. I was laughing, I was crying. And I felt the journey with you.
Rae: You mean you heard the—
Zimmerman: —the audio.