Rebecca Balding, who starred in the original Charmed series and the '70-80s TV show Soap, died at the age of 73 on Monday, July 18th. Deadline confirmed through Balding's husband, actor-director James L. Conway, that she died following a battle with ovarian cancer. Two of her biggest roles came in ABC's Soap, a nighttime spoof of typical daytime soap dramas, and Charmed, the fantasy series starring a trio of witch sisters that aired on The WB for eight seasons between 1998 and 2006. Balding's Soap role was of attorney Carol David, where she starred for the show's first two seasons in 1977-1979. As for Charmed, Balding played Elise Rothman, Phoebe Halliwell's (Alyssa Milano) boss at The Bay Mirror.
As Carol David, Balding seduced Billy Crystal's openly gay Jodie Dallas on Soap. Their one-night stand resulted in Carol becoming pregnant. Without his knowledge of the pregnancy, Jodie is talked into moving in with Carol, before she eventually comes clean with the truth. Wanting to provide a life for their baby, Jodie proposes to Carol, to which she of course says yes. However, Carol stands Jodie up at the altar. In typical soap opera fashion, Carol gives birth to their baby girl and fights Jodie for custody. Jodie winds up winning custody of their daughter, leading to Carol kidnapping the girl. Jodie eventually gets his daughter back, leaving Carol to go away and their story arc ending.
The relationship between Balding's Elise Rothman and Milano's Phoebe Halliwell on Charmed started off rocky. Elise was a dedicated career woman who had a tough exterior but would slowly show a more caring side to Phoebe. The two grew close, with Elise even referring to Phoebe as the daughter she never had. Elise would go on to become a trusted ally of the Charmed Sisters after she learned of their magic ways.
Charmed aired on The WB from 1998-2006. The CW rebooted the program in 2018 with a new cast. It ran for four seasons and came to an end this year after 72 episodes, with a debate of how closely it tied to the original series that inspired it. Soap had the distinction of being listed in Time Magazine's 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME back in 2007.
Some of Rebecca Balding's other TV credits include Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, Home Improvement, MacGyver, Family Ties, Starsky and Hutch, and The Bionic Woman.