Joan Benedict, an actress renowned for her role in the soap opera "General Hospital," has died at the age of 96. The widow of Oscar-winning actor Rod Steiger passed away on June 24 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles due to complications from a stroke, a family spokesperson confirmed to TMZ.

Benedict's career in television and film spanned several decades, beginning in the 1950s. She made her initial mark with appearances on popular TV shows such as "Candid Camera" and "The Steve Allen Show." Over the years, her talent and versatility saw her securing roles in various series, including "The Smith Family," "Apple's Way," "Hunter," "The Incredible Hulk," "Fantasy Island," and "Dollhouse."

On "General Hospital," Benedict portrayed Edith Fairchild, a role that cemented her status in daytime television. Her other soap opera roles included recurring characters on "Days of Our Lives" and "Capitol," showcasing her ability to captivate audiences in long-running series.

In addition to her television work, Benedict's filmography includes notable titles such as "The Prize Fighter," "A Month of Sundays," "Sweet Underground," "Perfect Victims," and "Dead Border." Her final on-screen appearance was in the 2017 film "Opus of an Angel," demonstrating her enduring passion for acting.

Benedict's personal life was marked by her marriages to prominent figures in the entertainment industry. She was first married to John Myhers, known for his role in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," from 1962 until his death in 1992. In 2000, she wed Rod Steiger, an acclaimed actor who won an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in "In the Heat of the Night." Steiger passed away in 2002 following complications from surgery for a gallbladder tumor.

After Steiger's death, Benedict found companionship with actor Jeremy Slate, known for his role in "Hell's Angels '69." Their relationship lasted until Slate's death from esophageal cancer in 2006. Benedict's life was marked by these significant personal losses, yet she continued to maintain her resilience and commitment to her craft.

The announcement of Benedict's passing coincided with the news of another "General Hospital" alum's death. Doug Sheehan, who played lawyer Joe Kelly on the show from 1979 to 1982, passed away on June 29 at the age of 75. Sheehan's role earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role in a Daytime Drama Series. His career included notable roles in the "Dallas" spinoff "Knots Landing" and NBC's "Day by Day," as well as appearances in "MacGyver," "Diagnosis Murder," "Columbo," and "Cheers."

Sheehan's contributions to television were also marked by his performances in films such as "Victor/Victoria" and "Cops n Roberts." His passing, like Benedict's, marks the end of an era for fans of "General Hospital" and the broader television community.

Joan Benedict's legacy in the entertainment industry is one of dedication and talent. Her extensive body of work, spanning both television and film, reflects a career committed to bringing diverse characters to life. Her passing is a significant loss to the acting community, but her contributions will continue to be remembered by fans and colleagues alike.