Weeks before a lavish feature film version is set to be unleashed upon the world, the first actor to play the central figure of the classic Gothic soap opera DARK SHADOWS, vampire Barnabas Collins – Jonathan Frid – has died at age 87. Though it just broached the news earlier today, it was announced that he’d passed away (almost fittingly) on Friday the 13th. His final screen appearance will be a cameo (along with former Shadows cast-mate, Kathryn Leigh Scott) in Tim Burton’s re-tooling, that stars Johnny Depp as Barnabas.
Frid joined the series in the middle of 1967 – nearly a year into the series – when creator Dan Curtis decided to amp up the supernatural aspect of the show to help sagging ratings. He remained until the series’ end in 1971, as well as revisiting the role in the feature film, HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS (1970).
Rest well, Sir. May you know the peace that so long eluded Barnabas.