Actor who played TV vampire 'Barnabas Collins' dies
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.
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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