Jonathan Frid, star of the original “Dark Shadows,” died of natural causes in Canada last Friday (April 13) at the Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario.
Frid was best known for playing Barnabas Collins on gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows,” which aired on ABC from June 1966 to April 1971. The character of Barnabas appeared a year into its run on TV and catapulted the show’s popularity.
Frid did not do much acting other than in “Dark Shadows” and did not have an acting credit since the 1974 film “Seizure” until he filmed a cameo for the 2012 release “Dark Shadows,” which features Johnny Depp as Barnabas.
Actress Kathryn Leigh Scott, who played Maggie Evans on the series, posted this message to Frid 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, and in the end
became the whole reason why kids “ran home from school to watch” “Dark
I am so grateful that nearly five decades later, Jonathan, David
Selby, Lara Parker and I were invited to play cameos in the new ‘Dark Shadows,’ directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins.
How wonderful for the four of us to work together again and celebrate
the legacy of ‘Dark Shadows.’ 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.'”
Rest in peace, Jonathan Frid.