Joan Benedict, ‘General Hospital’, actress dead at 96 following stroke complications

Joan Benedict Steiger, known for her role as Edith Fairchild on General Hospital, has died. She was 96.

A family spokesperson confirmed the news to Deadline.

Benedict was born in Brooklyn, New York where she studied dance at the Rome Opera Ballet School. But after seeing a film with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, she knew she wanted to make the switch to acting.

“I always thought when I was little I would be a dancer,” she told Women Fitness in 2016. “I was never really built for ballet, but I was tap dancing in public at age 7 when I performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. I remember the first film I ever saw was with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and as I was leaving the theatre, I wanted to run back in, I knew I had to be a part of that world.”

Benedict went on the 1950s version of Candid Camera and The Steve Allen Show. She later made guest appearances on The Incredible HulkFantasy Island, and Days of Our Lives, but it was General Hospital that earned her the most recognition.

Kathy Hutchins /

Benedict also appeared in several movies and in theater as well.

Over the years she starred in Promises, Promises, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Leona, and her one-woman autobiographical show The Loves of My Life.

“The theater for me is like being in church. When you feel the audience and feel that communication with other souls, it’s like music. As a performer, I’m always pursuing that wonderful experience where you are completely alert and clear, and yet transported through your imagination,” she said.

Her final acting credit came in 2017 for the film Opus of an Angel.

According to a family spokesperson, Benedict died on June 24 from complications of a stroke.

Rest in peace, Joan. You will be missed!


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