Jonathan Frid, who played the role of Barnabas Collins in the vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows”, has died in Hamilton, Ontario. He was 87.
According to reports by The Hamilton Spectator, Frid died on last Friday at the Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton. Frid never got married and has not left behind any immediate survivor.
Jonathan Frid got his training from Yale School Of Drama and Royal Academy Of Dramatic Arts London. He had an extensive stage career with many remarkable achievements and most of his roles were ghoulish. These include 1970 film “House of Dark Shadows”, TV movie “The Devil’s Daughter” and another horror movie “Seizure” in 1974. However, it was his role in “Dark Shadows” and its film adaptation, “House of Dark Shadows”, which made him an accomplished celebrity.
Jonathan Frid was a popular figure in “Dark Shadows”, but he did not make his first appearance until more than 200 episodes. In 1967, keeping in mind the decreasing popularity of the show, a ghost and then character, Barnabas Collins, was included and there was a marked increase in ratings. “Dark Shadows” became a favorite among the stay-at-home women as well as youngsters, who used to cut class and rush to their houses to watch the show.
Jonathan Frid acted in almost 600 episodes of the show. He used to get thousands of letters from his fans.
Spokesman for Dan Curtis Productions, which created “Dark Shadows”, Jim Pierson said, "Twenty million people saw the show at its peak in 1969. Kids ran home from school and housewives watched it. It had a huge pop culture impact." He further disclosed that Frid was never into fame and fortune but only wanted to be a working actor. Pierson also said that Frid loved the drama and finding the flaws and the humanity in his characters.
Frid recently did a cameo in "Dark Shadows", an upcoming new version starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins and directed by Tim Burton.
Castmate of Frid on the original "Dark Shadows", Kathryn Leigh Scott joined him to film her own cameo in the film. She wrote on her website, "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."