Thursday, April 19, 2012

Jonathan Frid Dead at 87

Jonathan Frid, who played the role of Barnabas Collins in the ABC daytime drama Dark Shadows, has died at the age of 87 years old on April 14, 2012 according to his former co-star Kathryn Leigh Scott.
Frid, born in Canada, was theatrically trained at the Royal Academy for the Dramatic Arts in London and received a master’s degree in directing from the Yale School of Drama. Before joining Dark Shadows, Frid had a successful stage career including a performance of Much Ado About Nothing that co-starred Katherine Hepburn and was directed by John Houseman.
Barnabas Collins made his first appearance on Shadows in 1966 after the show had already run for 211 episodes. The character was created in the hope of energizing the show and increasing ratings but Frid had only a 13-week commitment….he ended up on the show for nearly 600 more episodes, and transforming Barnabas from a guest into the show’s protagonist. 
After the show ended in 1971 - the run included a 1970 movie, House of the Dark Shadows - Frid returned to the stage including a successful run as the murderous nephew in the dark comedy Arsenic and Old Lace. His co-star was Jean Stapleton of All in the Family fame.
Frid and the rest of the original cast will all make appearances in the Tim Burton-directed Dark Shadows film starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas. (Coincidentally, the film opens on May 11.)
For Frid’s full filmography, click here.
Sources:,,,, alt.obituaries (Google group)
(Image of Frid and Grayson Hall as Julia is copyright Pictorial Parade/Getty Images and courtesy of the Washington Post.)

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