Report: ‘Dark Shadows’ Star Jonathan Frid Dies
(NEW YORK) -- Former Dark Shadows star Jonathan Frid has died, according to various reports. He was 87 years old.
Frid is of course best-known for playing the dashing vampire Barnabas Collins on the Gothic 1960s daytime soap Dark Shadows. Actress Kathryn Lee Scott, who co-starred with Frid on the show as his vampire love, Josette, writes on her blog in a lengthy tribute, "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.” She ends with, "I love you, Jonathan. Rest in peace."
The website Digital Spy is reporting that Frid died of natural causes at Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, but ABC News Radio has been unable to confirm that.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Frid was a classically-trained stage actor known for his stage work before he undertook the role of Barnabas Collins in 1977, playing the vampire until the show's demise in 1971, as well as in the 1970 film House of Dark Shadows. He largely retired from television acting in the 1980s though he remained active in theatre. He also was an enthusiastic presence in the Dark Shadows fan world online and at conventions.
Most recently, Frid joined fellow Dark Shadows cast members David Selby, Lara Parker and Kathryn Lee Scott in England's Pinewood Studios to film cameos in director Tim Burton's upcoming Dark Shadows movie, in which Johnny Depp plays Collins.
Scott writes on her blog, "I won’t ever forget the moment when the two Barnabas Collinses met, one in his late 80s and the other in his mid-40s, each with their wolf’s head canes. Jonathan took his time scrutinizing his successor’s appearance. 'I see you’ve done the hair,' Jonathan said to Johnny Depp, 'but a few more spikes.' Depp, entirely in character, replied, 'Yes, we’re doing things a bit differently.' I took that moment to thank Johnny Depp for his very generous comments about Jonathan Frid and the iconic character of Barnabas Collins that Jonathan had created. Both Tim Burton and Johnny Depp responded: 'But we wouldn’t be here without you.'"
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