With less than a month before Tim Burton’s big screen adaptation of ‘Dark Shadows’, actor Jonathan Frid has passed away. According to Digital Spy, Frid died of natural causes at the Juravinski Hospital in Canada this past Friday the 13th.
In the original television series of ‘Dark Shadows’, which ran from 1966-1971, Frid played the role of vampire Barnabas Collins. The role of Barnabas is played in Burton’s version by Johnny Depp.
Frid’s final acting role was actually a cameo appearance that he filmed for Tim Burton’s ‘Dark Shadows’. In that film, Frid will appear with other original ‘Dark Shadows’ cast members Lara Parker and Kathryn Leigh Scott.
Leigh Scott wrote a touching remembrance of her old friend on her website where she had the following to say about acting with Frid:
I am so grateful to have worked with Jonathan and to have known him as the charismatic, entertaining, complex and plain spoken man that he was. What fun we had working together! He was irascible, irreverent, funny, caring, lovable and thoroughly professional, and in the end became the whole reason why kids ran home from school to watch ‘Dark Shadows.’
Even though I’m a bit young to have watched ‘Dark Shadows’ when it originally aired, I was lucky enough to have a local television station that reran almost the entire series in the early ‘80s and I can definitely attest to Frid’s portrayal of Barnabas being one of the many reasons I sat down and watched ‘Dark Shadows’ every weekday afternoon. Mr. Frid’s Barnabas was definitely a strong presence on screen (even on my small black and white 13” television) and he will be missed.