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Actor who played TV vampire 'Barnabas Collins' dies

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/20/2012 (5 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Jonathan Frid dies at 87, just weeks before big-screen adaptation of 'Dark Shadows' with Johnny Depp

The mythical blood-sucking vampire is supposed to be immortal. It still came as a bit of a shock to learn that TV vampire Jonathan Frid, who played Barnabas Collins on the Gothic soap opera "Dark Shadows" has passed away at the age of 87. He died just days before his character was to be resurrected by actor Johnny Depp in the big-screen adaptation of "Dark Shadows" was to hit movie screens. He did make a cameo in the film as a party guest.

Buzz on the big-screen adaptation of 'Dark Shadows' has been mostly negative among fans of the original TV series. Director Burton and actor Depp have reportedly rendered the film as a campy, self-knowing ironic comedy - something the original would never resort to.

Buzz on the big-screen adaptation of "Dark Shadows" has been mostly negative among fans of the original TV series. Director Burton and actor Depp have reportedly rendered the film as a campy, self-knowing ironic comedy - something the original would never resort to.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
4/20/2012 (5 years ago)

Published in TV

Keywords: Jonathan Frid, Barnabas Collins, Dark Shadows, TV Johnny Depp, movie adpatation


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hailing from Canada, Frid brought the suave bloodsucker to life on the 1966-71 daytime soap. He passed away from natural causes in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario last week.

While the "Dark Shadows" was originally intended to draw the typical viewers of soap operas - stay-at-home moms, it inspired a wide variety of teenagers, children and young people, fascinated by the show's Gothic trappings. 

"It's a sad day," director Tim Burton said in a statement. "I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet Jonathan on the set this past spring. He left an indelible impression. Barnabas lives on!"

"His elegance and grace was an inspiration then and will continue to remain one forever more," Depp said in a statement. "When I had the honor to finally meet him, as he so generously passed the torch of Barnabas to me, he was as elegant and magical as I had always imagined.  My deepest condolences to his family and friends. The world has lost a true original."

"Dark Shadows" costar Kathryn Leigh Scott, posted a heartfelt appreciation of the late actor. "I'm so grateful to have worked with Jonathan, and to have known him as the charismatic, entertaining, complex, and plain-spoken man that he was," she wrote. "What fun we had working together! He was irascible, irreverent, funny, caring, lovable, and thoroughly professional."

Frid served in the Canadian Navy during World War II, and enrolled in London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1949. Frid would go on to receive a master's of fine arts degree in directing from the Yale School of Drama in 1957, though his career would focus mainly on acting. For many years before "Dark Shadows," he worked doing theater and small TV roles.

Frid would appear at "Dark Shadows" conventions celebrating what has become known as one of the weirdest shows on television.

Frid did occasional theater work after the soap opera was canceled, and he appeared in the 1973 TV movie "The Devil's Daughter" and starred in Oliver Stone's directorial debut, 1974's "Seizure."

Buzz on the big-screen adaptation of "Dark Shadows" has been mostly negative among fans of the original TV series. Director Burton and actor Depp have reportedly rendered the film as a campy, self-knowing ironic comedy - something they say that the original TV series, hasty makeup and onscreen flubs and all, would never resort to.

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