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Rebecca Balding, ‘Soap’ and ‘Charmed’ Star, Dies at 73

Variety logo Variety 7/20/2022 Michaela Zee
© Courtesy of James L. Conway

Rebecca Balding, the veteran stage and screen actress best known for her roles in the classic ABC sitcom “Soap” and the original “Charmed,” died on Monday following a battle with ovarian cancer. Balding died in Park City, Utah, according to a statement from her husband, writer-director James L. Conway. She was 73.

Balding was born in Little Rock, Ark., and studied acting at the University of Kansas. Before moving to Hollywood, she lived in Chicago where she began her career as a stage actress.

Balding guest starred in dozens of television series for nearly 30 years. One of her most memorable roles was playing Carol David in the ABC series “Soap.” Carol — who appeared in 19 episodes from 1978 to 1980 — is an attorney who seduces gay TV commercial director Jodie Dallas (Billy Crystal) and ultimately winds up pregnant.

Balding also appeared as Alyssa Milano’s boss Elise Rothman in the drama series “Charmed,” which aired from 1998 to 2006, and Corky Crandall in the late ’70s ABC sitcom “Makin’ It.” Her other TV credits include “Melrose Place,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Home Improvement,” “Designing Women,” “7th Heaven,” “MacGyver,” “Family Ties,” “Hotel,” “Matt Houston Cagney & Lacey,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “The Bionic Woman,” and “Lou Grant.” She portrayed Ed Asner’s daughter Julie in the 1977 TV film “The Gathering,” along with its sequel.

Noted as an early scream queen, Balding starred in the horror films “The Silent Scream” as Scotty Parker and “The Boogens” as Trish Michaels.

Balding is survived by her husband, writer-director James L. Conway, her daughters Sarah and Kathleen, and her grandchildren.

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