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‘She was a dramatic force:’ Charlotte Rae remembered at her alma mater, Shorewood High School

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SHOREWOOD -- Before she was beloved by many as Mrs. Garrett on "Diff'rent Strokes" and "The Facts of Life," Charlotte Rae (Lubotsky) was born and raised in Milwaukee. She graduated from Shorewood High School in 1944.

"We've had some great alumni that have been great examples, and probably most importantly -- great people," said Bryan Davis, superintendent, Shorewood School District.

Ahead of her big break in Hollywood -- Rae took center stage at Shorewood High School.

Charlotte Rae

Shorewood High School

Charlotte Rae

"Certainly, she was a dramatic force -- if you will -- here," said Davis.

"She really is the quintessential Shorewood graduate," said Ted Knight, advancement director with Shorewood School District.

Knight on Monday, Aug. 6 dug up a 1944 edition of the school yearbook -- the Copperdome.

"And we have pages upon pages of history in this yearbook -- and here she is!" said Knight.

Pictured in her senior photo, Rae was just about to embark on her career in entertainment.

Charlotte Rae's senior photo from the 1944 yearbook

Charlotte Rae's Shorewood Tradition of Excellence Award

"She's listed as a member of Mixed chorus during her first two years of high school. She discovered Dramatic club as a junior and her outstanding membership was climaxed with her portrayal of Susan in 'Quality Street,'" the yearbook states.

Rae went on to fill America's living rooms with laughter as Edna Garrett on two successful sitcoms. Her career in the spotlight spanned six decades.

"We do feel it's really important for our students to understand the story, and the path that they too can take through hard work and dedication," said Davis.

In 2004, Rae was recognized with a "Tradition of Excellence" award from her alma mater. The plaque, along with her legacy, still remain a source of pride at Shorewood High School.

"Charlotte Rae was one of those people we're just so proud to call a Shorewood graduate," said Knight.

Charlotte Rae

FOX6 was told Rae stayed true to her roots by supporting the Shorewood SEED Foundation -- which is dedicated to furthering public education in Shorewood.

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