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

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Rebecca Balding, the actress known for her roles in TV series like “Soap” and the original “Charmed,” died July 18. She was 73.

Balding’s cousin Caroline Williams tweeted the news last night. Deadline also confirmed the news with Balding’s husband.

“My cousin, Rebecca Balding, has passed away in Salt Lake City,” Williams wrote. “While we were not close in adulthood, she was a profound influence on my curiosity about show business and acting. #TheBoogens was where she met her delightful husband @jameslconway. Mother, wife, actress. Did it all.”

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Balding was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. After studying acting at the University of Kansas, she moved to Chicago to start her career onstage. She then appeared in many TV series in Hollywood, most known for her role in the original “Charmed” (1998-2006) series as Alyssa Milano’s boss and as Carol David in the classic sitcom “Soap.”

On the latter series, Carol meets Jodie Dallas (Billy Crystal), sleeps with him, and becomes pregnant as a result. She later convinces Crystal’s character (one of television’s first out gay roles and the comedian’s breakout performance) to move in together. Jodie proposes to Carol, but Carol ditches the wedding, perpetuating a fight for custody over their daughter, which Jodie wins. Carol then kidnaps the child, but Jodie gets her back. Baldings’ role then fades away.

More roles Balding played include Carla Mardigian in “Lou Grant” opposite Ed Asner, Corky Crandall in “Makin’ It,” Julie in “The Gathering” and its sequel and Amy Franklin in “Deadly Game.” Additional TV credits include “Melrose Place,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Home Improvement,” “MacGyver,” “Family Ties,” “Hotel,” “Matt Houston Cagney & Lacey,” “Starsky and Hutch” and “The Bionic Woman.” Balding also starred in the horror films “Silent Scream” and “The Boogens.” She most recently appeared in the 2005 film “Yesterday’s Dreams.”

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

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