Thursday, April 19, 2012

Jonathan Frid 1924-2012

"The Madonnas rest high above, the lion’s head watches the dove, and in the womb beneath the hill – a blazing light glows bright and still"

Jonathan Frid, the man known to the world as the vampire Barnabas Collins, has died at the age of 87. The Canadian actor died in his hometown of Hamilton this past Friday, the 13th.

Frid was the lead role in the cult hit soap opera DARK SHADOWS, which first aired in 1966. Although he was mostly a small-screen and stage actor, he did spend some time on the silver screen, including his final role; a cameo in Tim Burton’s upcoming big-screen adaptation of DARK SHADOWS. Frid’s film career also included the spin-off film HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS (1970), and a role in Oliver Stone’s horror-flick SEIZURE (1974).

Frid’s tragic Barnabas character was only meant to be a brief one, but the popularity of the character led to him becoming the star of the show and eventually the film; a testament to the man’s deep interpretation of the love-sick vampire.


In the 1980’s, DARK SHADOWS the TV show went through a second life courtesy of many PBS stations across the country. This Blogger’s Mom introduced her son to the show, and it was clear that it was a show unlike any other; a soap opera loaded with vampires, witches, and werewolves. It was big-screen thinking on TV, and that was something special. Frid’s movie career may have been small, but in watching today’s vampire films, it is clear that there is a little bit of Barnabas in every bloodsucker we see today.

"I'm beginning to wonder, cousin Barnabas, if I shall ever know you at all. There's so much about you... that I'm dying to know."

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