Johnny Depp Remembers Jonathan Frid
The man who first breathed life into the iconic '60s vampire Barnabas has died
With Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" set to premiere on the big screen in May, the actor who played the original Barnabas Collins, Jonathan Frid, has passed. The 87-year-old star of the Gothic '60s soap opera died Friday, April 13, and Johnny Depp, who is both a fan and the new Barnabas, has spoken out.
"Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch Dark Shadows,’” Depp said in a statement. "His elegance and grace was an inspiration then and will continue to remain one forever more.
"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."
Frid's "Dark Shadows" costar Kathryn Leigh Scott also spoke out about his passing. She and Frid make cameos in the upcoming big screen remake, sharing the screen with Depp when Barnabas hits a party. For soap fans everywhere, it seems like a fitting final appearance for Frid, who trained at Yale School of Drama and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and embraced his status as a campy cult icon.
Frid was remembered by family and friends on April 18, which happened to be the 45th Anniversary of his first appearance on "Dark Shadows."
As is often the case with popular soap opera heroes and villains, Barnabas was intended to be a short term character when he came onto the "Dark Shadows" scene, but quickly turned into a fan fave. The tortured and sympathetic vamp didn’t just become the central character, but his popularity also saved the series from cancellation.
Jonathan Frid, the TRUE "Original", who set the stage for everything "Vampire" that we see and hear about today. The movies, hot and steamy television shows, you name it.....he was behind it all.
He will be sorely missed by all who knew and respected him for his craft, and as far as I am concerned, perfect portrayal of the Vampire with a "heart".
He was a major part of my childhood and an influence that will always affect me through the rest of my own life. There will never be another like him.
Goodbye my friend.....until we meet again.
The irony of his passing on Friday the 13th.......everything DOES happen for a reason.