American actress Rebecca Balding, of 'Soap' and 'Charmed' fame, dies at 73 of ovarian cancer


Rebecca Balding was something of a scream queen pioneer. Photo: Twitter

Rebecca Balding, best known for her roles on Soap and Charmed, has died. She was 73.

Balding died Monday (July 18) in Park City, Utah, following a battle with ovarian cancer, Balding's husband James L. Conway confirmed to USA Today

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Balding made her television debut in 1976, appearing on the action drama The Bionic Woman. Two years later, she landed the role of Carol David in the dramedy series Soap, which also starred Katherine Helmond, Richard Mulligan and Emmy-winning actor Billy Crystal.

Balding was also something of a scream queen pioneer, starring in the horror thrillers The Silent Scream in 1979 and The Boogens in 1981. It was on the set of The Boogens that Balding would meet her future husband Conway, who directed the film.

"Rebecca came in to audition," Conway told People Wednesday. "We chatted, she read and when she left, I turned to the associate producer and said, 'I could marry that girl.' "

He continued: "Somehow she got cast. The first week of shooting we went out. That Saturday night, she proposed. And four weeks later, while still shooting, we got married. Of course, no one thought it would last. That was 41 years ago."

Throughout the 1990s, Balding appeared on a number of TV series, including sitcoms Designing Women and Home Improvement, as well as soapy dramas Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place.

In 1998, Balding scored the role of Aunt Jackie on the fantasy drama Charmed, starring Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs, which set into motion a nearly decade-long run on the show. Apart from Aunt Jackie, Balding portrayed Milano's boss Elise Rothman from 2002-2006.

Balding's last television appearance was on the 2006 Charmed episode Kill Billie: Vol. 2.

She is survived by her husband Conway, her daughters Sarah and Kathleen, and her grandchildren. – USA Today/Tribune News Service

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