Dark Shadows’ Jonathan Frid Dead at 87


This is sad, and I'll admit, a bit spooky given the time timing. Jonathan Frid, who portrayed vampire Barnabas Collins on ABC Daytime's cult hit soap opera Dark Shadows back in the late 60's and early70's, died on April 14. He was 87.

Frid's death comes as a big screen version of Dark Shadow, starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas, is set to premiere next month. RIP, Barnabas 1.0. Watch a clip of Frid as Barnabas arriving at Collinwood after the jump!



8 Responses

  1. Profile photo of nellie-claire

    I don’t think that there was a teenage girl who didn’t have a crush on Jonathan Frid when he was on Dark Shadows, myself included. This is so sad and this makes me so old. RIP Mr. Frid; we all loved you so much!

  2. Profile photo of LizzieVee

    Sorry to hear of his passing. I was thinking the same thing in regards to this new movie. Did he do a cameo? I think some others that were in the show do.

    Its because of Barnabas Collins and his looking into windows at night that made me scared of leaving my curtains open in the dark. I was about 9-10. To this day, I still talk about that. Its why I don’t like vampire movies.

  3. Profile photo of marybee50

    nellie-claire-I,too,was so in love with Frid.My sister and i would never miss Dark Shadows.I really don’t think I’m going to see the movie.It looks like a typical Depp over the top performance.


  4. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    The original run was before my time but my mom did watch it and I did see some episodes on the Sci-Fi Channel in re-runs. I remember seeing him appear on the 50th Anniversary of Soaps special too.

    RIP sir.

  5. Profile photo of TheOldSoapster

    this is the man who ABC daytime is really indebted to.

    barnabas saved a soap that was about to be axed and, as a result, the network snared millions of young viewers who got into the soap habit — most of them with ABC’s other daytime dramas.

    i remember running home from school to watch, folding my newspapers at the same time. i didnt start my route until DS had finished. hokey? yes. stilted? yes. but there was nothing else like it (and if the ads for the new movie are any indication, the depp-plays-it-for-laughs film will be a bomb.)

    when DS was moved to a later time period to make way for a new half-hour soap, i began watching on the very first day — OLTL. watched it right up through episode 11,096 this year.

    without barnabas, the network wouldnt have had millions of faithful viewers tuning in every afternoon to watch its other programming, long after DS had ended.

    i still come home after work and don’t know how to fill that hour before i go to bed each night. i still wonder what the buchanans are up to. damn you, ABC. i’ll never forgive you for canceling OLTL.

  6. Profile photo of nellie-claire

    I agree with everything that TheOldSoapster wrote and it is so well expressed too. Dan Curtis, the creator of DS added Barnabas when the ratings were low and ABC was planning on canceling Dark Shadows. There are interviews online with Dan Curtis discussing this very fact.
    You know it always amazes me how little attention is paid to former big, big name soap stars when they die. Jaquie Courtney got hardly any mention anywhere James Pritchett of The Doctors and ATWT just to name a few, got hardly anything and Gerald Gordon, of The Doctors and GH had even less.
    These people were the stars of their days, actually, I should say, decades because each of these actors had careers in the soaps of longer than 10 years and how many of us remember them today?
    I don’t know what made me get started on this topic but I know that it has been bothering me for quite some time.

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