Thursday, April 19, 2012

Jonathan Frid Dead at 87; Barnabas Collins on DARK SHADOWS

Actor Jonathan Frid, best known for his role as Barnabas Collins on the original DARK SHADOWS afternoon soap opera on ABC, passed away peacefully on April 14 at the age of 87. Frid was a theater, television, and film actor whose career spanned more than fifty years.

Frid starred on DARK SHADOWS from 1967 to 1971 and also played the role of Barnabas in the House of Dark Shadows movie. April 18 marked 45 years since Frid made his first appearance on the soap.  Prior to DARK SHADOWS, he played Dr. Field on AS THE WORLD TURNS.

In 2010 Frid made the We Love Soaps Top 50 Daytime Soap Actors of All-Time list, based on votes from 15 top industry critics and writers.

In a posting on her official website, former DARK SHADOWS co-star Kathryn Leigh Scott (Josette) paid tribute to the late actor.

"I am so grateful to have worked with Jonathan," she wrote, "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."

Frid, Scott, Lara Parker and David Selby filmed a cameo for the new Dark Shadows movie from Tim Burton out in May.  Johnny Depp plays Barnabas in the film. He spoke about his admiration of Frid in an interview with MTV last year.

"What Jonathan Frid did with that character and that sort of classic, iconic look he created - I find it very difficult to stray far from that," Depp said. "So I think it's going to be somewhere in that arena, I feel ilke it is, with maybe just a couple of different touches here and there. There's something about the idea of this vampire coming back after 200 years into the this modern world with a touch of the poetic, with maybe a tendency to wax a little poetic now and again. I have a good feeling about it. But Jonathan Frid's Barnabas is so special."

- 50 Greatest Soap Actors: #49 Jonathan Frid
- FLASHBACK: Jonathan Frid 1969
- Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series DVD (All 1,225 Episodes) On Sale Now
- Trailer For The New Dark Shadows Movie Released; Movie Poster Revealed
- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Kathryn Leigh Scott Reflects On DARK SHADOWS and Tells Us About Her New Book, "Dark Passages"


  1. The only "soap" I ever watched, and that was due to Jonathan's character. Rest in Peace Jonathan.

  2. I've been a huge fan of Jonathan's Frid's Barnabas since I was a child. I even wrote a song looking to capture the deep and complex character of Barnabas. You can hear that here:

  3. RIP Jonathan. I had the honor of meeting him during the time he was doing his one man tour, 20 years ago. He was a very warm, witty gentleman.

  4. RIP. Jonathan Frid was so very wonderful - one is a million. Saw him in Arsenic and Old Lace - brilliant! Also had the honor of attending several DS conventions where Jonathan gave marvelous presentations. He will be remembered forever!