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TV star Charlotte Rae reveals pain of discovering her husband was gay

Charlotte Rae, who played Edna Garrett on The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes, is shopping her memoir, The Facts of My Life, to publishers. In the book, which covers her life and television career, she discloses the devastation and shame she felt when her husband, Grammy-winning composer John Strauss, admitted that he’d been unfaithful — with other men.

"First came the shock of what he had done behind my back, then the sting of being deceived for years,” Rae writes. “All I could feel was the betrayal and, worse than that, my shame. John’s secret confirmed my feelings of inferiority. That I was less than a woman . . . That I didn’t deserve to be loved and valued."

The couple married in 1950, had two sons and divorced in 1976 following her husband’s revelation about his sexuality. John Strauss died in 2011 after battling Parkinson’s disease. 

As for the 86-year-old Rae, she’s still working in Hollywood, and most recently appeared on an episode of Pretty Little Liars. 

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