Dark Shadows Star Jonathan Frid Dies - Mania.com

Dark Shadows Star Jonathan Frid Dies

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Dark Shadows Star Jonathan Frid Dies


By Robert T. Trate     April 19, 2012
Source: IMDB

Actor Jonathan Frid who claimed horror icon status with his portrayal of Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows passed away on Saturday in Hamilton, Ontario. He was 87 years old.

Jonathan Frid's career in drama began when he first "offered his soul" to the theater as a young boy at a preparatory school in Ontario, Canada. Following his graduation from McMaster University, he attended London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and later earned a Master's Degree in Directing from the Yale School of Drama. Mr. Frid was a leading actor in English and Canadian repertory and went on to work in many of the most celebrated regional theaters in the United States, including the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and the American Shakespeare Festival under the direction of John Houseman, performing with Katharine Hepburn in "Much Ado About Nothing". He has appeared in major roles on-and-off Broadway, in such productions as "Roar Like A Dove", "Murder in the Cathedral" and "Wait Until Dark". But, it was Mr. Frid's portrayal of a complex, conflicted vampire on ABC-TV's daytime drama series Dark Shadows (1966) (co-starring with Joan Bennett) and in the subsequent motion picture House of Dark Shadows (1970) that earned him a place as an icon of American popular culture. His other film credits include co-starring roles in The Devil's Daughter (1973) (TV) (with Shelley Winters) and Seizure (1974) (Oliver Stone's directorial debut). In 1986, Mr. Frid joined the Broadway production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" (co-starring with Jean Stapleton). He won critical acclaim for his villainous turn as the homicidal nephew and spent ten months with the play's national tour. That same year, Mr. Frid founded his own production company, "Clunes Associates", to create and tour a series of one-man readers' theater shows across North America. Mr. Frid continues to perform his one-man shows, now under the banner of "Charity Associates", to raise money for a variety of charities. Combining the arts of his voice and his zest for entertaining", as one critic put it. In June of 2000, Mr. Frid returned to the traditional professional stage in the play "Mass Appeal" at the Stirling Festival Theatre in Stirling, Ontario.

Jonathan does have a role in the new Dark Shadows movie directed by Tim Burton. It was his latest and final acting performance. He hadn’t performed on screen since 1974.

Thanks to doublec for the submission.


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redhairs99 4/19/2012 10:20:16 AM

He probably watched the trailer for Tim Burton's flick and had a heart attack.

But seriously, sad news.  Rest in Peace Barnabus!

Kaziklu 4/19/2012 12:49:16 PM

  his last words were... "I could go on but did you see the trailer, what the fuck is wrong with Tim Burton, I dunno where I'm going but it's gotta be better then a world with that monstrosity."

monkeyfoot 4/19/2012 1:21:44 PM

Actually, Frid is supposed to make a cameo in the movie and was fine with the more comedic take.

May the original Barnabas find his eternal rest.

Kaziklu 4/19/2012 1:27:38 PM

 @monkeyfoot... I was mostly kidding... I'm most likely going to see it... but Tim needs to be stopped. 

Riddick316 4/19/2012 6:24:17 PM

 I use to watch it on my black and white.(in the 70's)      RIP

doublec 4/19/2012 6:31:19 PM

I'm probably one of the few people here who watched Dark Shadows during its original run in the late 60's.He was truly one of my first heroes. Thank you, sir, for some of the fondest memories of my childhood.

But does Mania actually want us to believe he's STILL doing one-man shows? Unless he actually was immortal,,,

fenngibbon 4/19/2012 7:03:45 PM

 RIP, Mr. Frid.

domino2008 4/19/2012 10:09:11 PM

I used to come home after school an watch this show . though over the years I never heard nothing about Him in any movies or tv shows other than The House OF Dark Shadows . yeah too bad this new movie really taints his image an all the work He did on that show . Though this week they finally came out the first installment of the old tv show on DVD. I hope his family gets the money from the sales .RIP

marcd30319 4/20/2012 4:11:44 AM

Rest in Peace, Jonathan Frid.

monkeyfoot 4/20/2012 7:05:29 AM

Understood, Kaziklu. I was taken aback by the tone Burton decided to take, too. But then I realized despite his very gothic and dark tones in most of his movies Burton has never done a scary or horror style picture. They are mostly romantic, tragic, and comedic fairy tale kind of stories, even his Batman's. 

After my shock at the style, I realized most people aren't familiar with the show anyway and this actually looks like a tone that could be a success.

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