Fans, colleagues remember 'Dark Shadows' star Jonathan Frid
Jonathan Frid played vampire Barnabas Collins on "Dark Shadows" from 1967 to 1971. Frid died Saturday at age 87.
April 20th, 2012
10:37 AM ET

Fans, colleagues remember 'Dark Shadows' star Jonathan Frid

Before "Angel," before "Vampire Diaries'" Damon and Stefan, and before "True Blood's" Bill, there was the original television vampire: Barnabas Collins.

Jonathan Frid, who portrayed the character on the soap opera/horror series, "Dark Shadows" from 1967 to 1971  - the film adaptation of which hits theaters on May 11 - died on Saturday at the age of 87.

Many fans first heard about the loss of Frid on Thursday, when his "Dark Shadows" co-star Kathryn Leigh Scott paid tribute to him on her website:

"I am so grateful to have worked with Jonathan, and to have known him as the charismatic, entertaining, complex and plain-spoken man that he was. What fun we had working together! He was irascible, irreverent, funny, caring, lovable and thoroughly professional, and in the end became the whole reason why kids 'ran home from school to watch' 'Dark Shadows.'

"I am so grateful that nearly five decades later, Jonathan, David Selby, Lara Parker and I were invited to play cameos in the new 'Dark Shadows,' directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins. How wonderful for the four of us to work together again and celebrate the legacy of 'Dark Shadows.' I won’t ever forget the moment when the two Barnabas Collinses met, one in his late 80s and the other in his mid-40s, each with their wolf’s head canes. Jonathan took his time scrutinizing his successor’s appearance. 'I see you’ve done the hair,' Jonathan said to Johnny Depp, 'but a few more spikes.' Depp, entirely in character, replied, 'Yes, we’re doing things a bit differently.'"

A Frid family statement posted by Scott said:

"At a gathering of family and friends on April 18, the family remarked on John’s passing on Friday, April the 13th, and the fact that they were remembering him on April 18, the 45th anniversary of the broadcast of his first appearance at the door of Collinwood."

Don Frid, Jonathan's nephew told CNN:

"He was a happy person and he enjoyed what he did. It is important to know that he really gave his all to be part of the 'Dark Shadows' festivals over the last 5 years. He did it to make his fans happy. It was all about the fans."

Depp put out this statement:

"Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch 'Dark Shadows.' His elegance and grace was an inspiration then and will continue to remain one forever more. When I had the honor to finally meet him, as he so generously passed the torch of Barnabas to me, he was as elegant and magical as i had always imagined. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. The world has lost a true original."

Horror fan magazine Fangoria was one of the many to pay tribute:

"During its first nine months, 'Dark Shadows' was in danger of cancellation. The vaguely 'Jane Eyre'-ish soap opera was admittedly different from other daytime dramas, but it wasn't particularly interesting, either. The tide began to turn when, in early 1967, the series stopped hinting at the supernatural and gave viewers a few bona fide ghosts. Then, Laura Collins, a character involved in a bitter child custody battle, was revealed to be a Phoenix, a fire creature from ancient Egyptian mythology.

"Viewers began to take notice, but it wasn't until Frid stepped into the role of Barnabas Collins in April of that year, that 'Dark Shadows' came into its own. Nothing like this character, or the actor who played him, had ever been seen on a daytime drama."

Badass Digest recounted:

"Much has been made of Mr. Frid's onscreen bloopers, but such was the nature of the show - it was live on tape, and no one was immune from a gaffe or two. Less talked about is how, if you kept watching, Mr. Frid seemed to settle into the role and gradually became more self-assured as the show's focus hopped between characters, centuries and dimensions. And when it all ended in 1971, the actor simply got on with his life, returning to the stage, appearing in very few other films (he starred in 'Seizure,' Oliver Stone's directorial debut), and making no secret of the fact that he never really understood just what got fans of Dark Shadows so worked up about him. He was the central figure of a phenomenon for which he seemed grateful, but simply couldn't get his head around."

The Dark Shadows News site wrote about Frid's later years:

"In time, Jonathan came to appreciate the enduring popularity of his 'Dark Shadows' work, attending many conventions, right up until last year's 45th anniversary celebrations in Brooklyn. Now in his 80s, he had taken to using his original wolf's-head cane from the show as a walking aid, no longer a memento, and though he tired easily, was happy to make the long journeys and oblige those original fans, still in awe of him four decades later."

Ain't It Cool News' Harry Knowles said:

"Over the years when I was a dealer of collectibles - I came across an enormous amount of 'Dark Shadows' material and the loyal fans that would scoop it all up loved this show and this man fiercely. My heart goes out to the many fans that I know are saddened at this news and to the people that knew Frid best."

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  5. TERI

    I watched Dark Shadows as a young bride in DC who whose husband an airman would come home in the afternoons and watch this show with me. We loved it. He later went to Vietnam while it was still on and we would talk about it in our letters.

    April 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  6. mplaya

    Growing up in Newport RI where the original mansion shot was taken (and many a night sneaking onto that property) made the series all the more real and exciting. Kudos to Mr. Frid and the one of a kind show that they had made so succcessful in the day where the generic, sappy, overplayed soap operas seemed to loom....
    RIP and may you reach the other side knowing you had entertained millions with the genre you had decided upon....

    April 24, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  7. Sherry

    I am so saddened by the passing of JF... I can remember every kid on my block sitting in front of my families TV after school watching DS.... My Mom would have snacks and drinks for us and we rarely ever touched them because we were so in almost a trance watching this soap... It was amazing and I'll never gorget it JF you will be missed very much.. No one could ever take your place! Also, I am not a fan of the new versiom coming out at the movies... TB does what he does best....but NOT Dark Shadows... It should have been remade to be wery scary not funny/weird! I do think Johnny Depp could have been a really scary vampire though.... To bad we'll never know... RIP JF ... .. .

    April 24, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  8. Always

    I was so sorry to hear of Jonathan's death. The year was 1969 when I first started watching Dark Shadows. The time period was in the 1800's when Barnabas and Julia traveled back in time to prevent a future curse. I have so many fond memories of this daytime drama. I met my best friend (passed away now) and I commented on how much she looked like Angelique. We became instant friends and were friends almost 20 yrs before she died. We went to one of the conventions together in N.Y. and had the time of our lives. I have all of the Robert Cobert c.d.'s. Jonathan sang/narrated a song called "I'll be with you always". A very 'touching' song. To Jonathan and my friend: "I'll be with you always."

    April 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  9. Hadenuffyet

    Seeing what they did to the movie version was enough to do him in...RIP

    April 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Name Dianr Silva*

      I too was disappointed withe the new DRk Shadows movie. It just don't have the feel of the series I didn't care for John y Depps version of Barnabas

      July 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  10. Karen Denison

    I was also an avid watcher of Dark Shadows and tried to never miss a show. I particularly enjoyed Mr. Frid as he made Barnabas Collins actually come to life. I will have to admit that I sometimes laughed at the problems and mistakes made on the show and really liked the squeaky bat flying around, but thoroughly enjoyed Barnabas Collins. He will be greatly missed.

    April 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  11. stormy miller

    i am a dedicated fan of horror. at the age of 5 i discovered DARK SHADOWS it was one of my very first experiences with horror and i ate up every episode i could see. jonathan frid playing barnabs collins is etched into my brain forever. he is one of the great legends of horror.

    April 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • kica

      I discovered it at the same age. It came on right after my grandmothers fave soap General Hospital. However after my gma discovered I discovered it, she wouldn't let me watch. Too scary she said. lolol

      April 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  12. Jan

    That show captivated me to another dream world. I loved it could not get enough of it then now since his passing I am so happy that as a kid I got to see the best vampire series there ever was. Jonathon Frid, John Carradine, Christopher Reeve I was gonna marry all of them. Ha ha ha ha ha .

    April 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  13. lynn

    I had the chance to meet Jonathan 3 times. Each one was special to me. I am very sad that he has left us. But even in my sadness I will have my memories of the meetings and all the Dark Shadows episodes help keep him in my heart.

    I send love and prayers to his friends and family and friends in this time of sorrow.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  14. Cheryl

    I'm yet another one who ran home from school to watch Dark Shadows . . . then many years later ran home from work to watch Ben Cross as Barnabas Collins in the prime-time revival of Dark Shadows (be still my heart). A very special time occurred for me when, as an adult, my husband took me to Newport, Rhode Island, to see the Carey Mansion. This beautiful home served as the outside view of Collinwood for the t.v. series. When we stopped at the Visitors Center in Newport to check directions to the mansion, I barely had time to say, "I'd like to see the mansion that . . ." before the clerk said, "Oh, yes, you are the right generation! We have a lot of you who come to pay your respects!" RIP Jonathan Frid.

    April 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Kris

      Oh yes, Cheryl, I'm another one that got home in the 70's to watch Dark Shadows at 4pm. My how how that half-hour went by too fast. My family and I went up the coast to NYC for my high school graduation, and we went to Tarrytown, NY where the film, House of Dark Shadows was filmed. I took pictures galore let me tell you! The guide just grinned when my Dad asked them if the film was done there, and she said yes. RIP Mr. Frid. Alas, I didn't see the series until it was about off the air, in the early 70's, so they had the storyline for 1841 w/Jonathan as Branwell, Lara Parker as Catherine Harridge and Keith Prentice as Morgan Collins. In any event, I got hooked! I'm not even going to BOTHER going to see the one with Johnny Depp, forget it. The trailer for the film makes me sick. It's more a spoof/comedy than a serious tribute to the series. Maybe someone will just clip in the film where the original cast makes a cameo and put it on YouTube, THEN I'll see everyone.

      April 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  15. Roberta Cohen

    My sister and I used to watch Dark Shadows back in the 60's. We loved that show!

    April 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  16. Montre

    Rest in Peace, Mr Frid. All my best to your family and friends.

    April 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  17. ellid

    That show scared me half to death when I was little.

    April 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  18. Terry

    As a kid I watched Dark Shadows in the 60's after school until the astronauts went to the moon and walked on it. It was the only thing that could take me away from Dark Shadows.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:26 am |
  19. Clyde

    Mr. Frid, you have established the character of Barnabas so solidly that you shall remain immortal as well. RIP

    April 23, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Montre

      Amen, Clyde. Well said. Let his memory do just that.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  20. Bruce Hays

    R.I. P. Jonathan ! I not only ran home to watch the show, when visiting relatives in N.Y.C. I would go to the studio, and meet with the actors after taping. I well remember Mr Frid, not only for his gracious and cordial treatment of fans, but for his sense of humor, as well ! I hope that he got to see the new movie in finished form, I'm sure he would have appreciated it, he had no problem with poking fun at the show, autographing my Cracked Magazine parody, "Darn Shadows", he cracked up himself!

    April 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  21. monah

    I too was a huge fan of Dark Shadows and couldn't wait to get home from school to watch it. My dad was in the Army and at the age of 12 in 1969 we were transferred to Taiwan and I never got to finish watching the series. I was in love with Quentin.

    April 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  22. jeepster455

    From 1967 to 1971 I religiously watched "Dark Shadows," and joined the army of kids who did the same after school.
    This is one of my very favorite TV shows ever, and it was certainly one of a kind back in the day. RIP Mr. Frid, and thank you so much for the unique entertainment you so brilliantly provided to all of us all those years ago. Your ,passing as the new "Dark Shadows" emerges is ironic and symbolic. Jonathan Frid made the best vampire ever!

    April 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  23. Linda Lou

    Thank you, Mr. Frid. I, too, was that young girl running home each day from school to watch "Dark Shadows" at 3:30pm. You are a class act and your legacy as an actor and man of character is secure.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  24. miscreantsall

    As a kid I loved the show sooooooooo much. I had a HUGE crush on Lara Parker (Angelique being my favorite character).

    As an adult revisiting, I was disappointed and surprised with all the bad acting and sloppy mistakes all over the place. STILL, I am left with an immense sense of appreciation for what a huge trailblazer this show was.

    From the trailers I have seen for the new Dark Shadows………………? Not good! Not good at all!

    April 22, 2012 at 3:15 am |
  25. Thinker

    I watched it from the beginning. run home from school, and sit on the floor and watch it. Kate Jackson was in it, but I can't remember her name in the show. She played a ghost. Loved Jonathan Frid. He was a great vampire.

    April 22, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • lisaleev

      Her name was Daphne

      April 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
      • Karen

        And they smelled lavender whenever she was present in the room.

        April 24, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  26. Mrs. Parrish

    There is no doubt that he died in response to the new Dark Shadows movie trailer. I wanted a remake but not like this goofy Tim Burton movie. Kind of rude actually.

    April 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • wjmknight

      Frid was fine with Burton's adaptation, THAT'S good enough for me.

      April 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Kris

      I've read the same comment quite a few times.........

      April 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  27. pattysboi

    My mother always thought it would give me nightmares, but of course it didn't. Sheesh. Who could get nightmares from such a crazy show?

    I remember having a HUGE crush on the kid who played David/Jamison Collins. Now that I'm watching it on Netflix, I wonder how in the world I could stand the kid. Such a WHINER he played!

    RIP, Jonathan Frid. depp can't hold a matchstick to you.

    April 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  28. kathy

    l watched that show along time ago l found it to be good l hope he rests in peace

    April 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  29. John Housianitis

    I couldn't agree more with the tributes being paid to a fine actor. RIP Jonathan Frid. You made my childhood and the childhood of millions of Americans such a wonderful experience. Peace,

    April 21, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  30. cpeterson

    I will always love you Mr. Frid. You were my first crush. RIP. XXOO

    April 20, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  31. cpeterson

    I will never forget you Mr. Frid. You were my first crush. RIP. XXOO

    April 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  32. OvernOut

    My youngest kid is now a freshman in college, but I don't recall any show that my three kids would rush home to see on TV. The closest thing to that was when the oldest kid, my son, had to see Total Request Live on MTV when he was in middle school. Dark Shadows was like a current events thing, if you didn't see it, you had nothing to talk about with your friends the next day. I have never seen the show in color, I know that they produced the show in color, but my parents didn't buy a color TV set until I was grown and gone–and I didn't own a color set myself until 1985.

    April 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  33. Mario Ohio

    I remember watching the Spanish version of Dark Shadows (Sombras tenebrosas). Barnabas Collins was a standout character in the series. I didn't see anything campy or comedic about it, just a melancholy vampire who was trying not to bite anyone.

    April 20, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  34. David Ouellette

    A very true DARK SHADOWS fan, I watched this beloved show from the very FIRST episode to the very last one, its entire 5 year run. My favourite part of the show was when they went back into the past, to the year 1795, to show how Barnabas Collins became a vampire – so unique and unusual for any show of that time. It was the highlight of the entire show.(One funny incident – the witch Angelique turned Joshua Collins-father of Barnabas- into a cat and POOF in a puff of smoke the cat appeared on a bed – but kept running away. I guess it's hard to train a cat, but it was the usual, loveable Dark Shadows stuff, mistakes and all (they wouldn'd allow re-takes in those days.) Farewell, my wonderful friend, Barnabas Collins-courtesy of Jonathan Frid- my all time favourite vampire and show!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  35. Eric Rife

    I too "ran home from school" to watch Dark Shadows and when it was shown again in reruns in the early 1980s, I was really excited. But when I watched it, I thought, "well this really isn't as good as I remember ... not by a long shot." Of course I was in kindergarten when it originally aired so I'm not sure what I was expecting. I guess I understand why Frid didn't think a whole lot of it. There is, however, a video of Dark Shadows bloopers which is hilarious. I was saddened to hear of Frid's passing.

    April 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  36. Skylark Song

    My husbands graduation picture (1974) shows him with his hair cut and styled like Barnabas. He was a fanatic. When we first got married he like to play tricks on me and he would sit up straight in bed as if rising from a coffin and scare the living daylight out of me. Dark Shadows can never be replaced as Johnathan Frid was Dark Shadows.

    April 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  37. ZoeyJ

    Mr. Frid you will be missed, comfort to your family- sorry for their loss............Mr. Frid and Barnabas will live forever in so many people's hearts!
    THANK YOU Mr. Frid for sharing your talents and skills....................

    April 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • BRUCE


      April 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
      • Dave, CA

        BRUCE- That's no way to talk about your mother.

        April 22, 2012 at 3:04 am |
  38. Tina

    I loved that show. I was a little disappointed when i seen they were remaking the movie into a comedy. That show was not funny. But God Bless Jonathan he was great in the role and to this day I like watching it.

    April 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      It had moments of campy humor. But the previews of the upcoming film look absolutely awful – another hour and a half wasted watching Johnny Depp stumble around while drunk and incoherent. I'll be passing.

      April 21, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • wjmknight

      I'm a fan of the series from the original run, I thought the trailers are funny and frankly, with all the vampire flicks that have come out, anotehr "seriosu" vampire movie would probably get lost.

      FRid approved of Burton's version and gave his blessings. I trust Frid's judgement more than yours.

      April 21, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  39. mikebo1959

    I remember as a kid i was so scared watching the show.You have so many actors?Reading lines and that is it.He was so real.

    April 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  40. Fiona

    I remember watching DS after school, and I remember Barnabus Collins, but I remember nothing of the show except that a friend of mine had a crush on Barnabus...which I found odd. She never married.

    Johnny Depp is so overly effusive all the time that I doubt his sincerity. If he is honest about his age, he is but 48 years old. that makes him around age 3 to 7 when he says he "used to run home from school" to watch the show. Unless the show went into syndication?

    April 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Depp is promoting his upcoming film. From the looks of the previews, it will need all the help it can muster. And it makes a mockery of the original series.

      April 21, 2012 at 8:29 am |
  41. DeTamble

    Jonathin Frid
    Levon Helm
    Dick Clark

    They do go in three's.

    April 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Artifex

      Ha! That is EXACTLY what my mom always used to say when a celebrity died. And more often than not she was right. Weird.

      April 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  42. Paul

    Barnabas was the original "vampire with a soul\conscious" and without Frid's spot on performance, we would not have had "Forever Knight", "Angel"; or have "Twilight", "True Blood", "The Vampire Diaries" and dare I say sympathetic Louis from Anne Rice's "Interview With a Vampire". Frid once said about Barnabas that he could be a hero as well as a fiend, and that to him, the true horror of it all was "the lie"; that Barnabas had to continually pretend to be someone he was not. I had the honor once of meeting him at a sci-fi convention in the early 90's. He had yet to fully come to terms with DS and so my question regarding the show was not received very well! He challenged me asking "Did you bother to see the performance (he had just given)?" Of course I had and complimented him on it, but nonetheless, I had mentioned the then dreaded DS! He did sign my book, though! I did not take his disdain personally and frankly should have expected it knowing he did not, even at the time the show was on, understand why everyone was so crazy about a vampire. It wasn't the vampire, it was you, sir! May God be with you Mr. Frid!

    April 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  43. Vampirella

    Johnny Depp was less than four years old when DS premiered. He must have run home from pre-school.

    April 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Moosehead Beer


      Go back to school and learn how to read.
      The article does not say that Depp ran home to watch the show.
      You are a moron.

      April 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
      • Fiona

        Moose head is a good name for you, since it's evident you can't read. Go back and check.

        April 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
      • Boonedog


        The article said Barnabus was the "whole reason kids ran home from school." johnny depp did not say he ran home from school. Maybe you should re-read the article.

        April 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
      • Paul in Austin

        Actually, the article DOES say it: Read the section that says, "Depp put out this statement" and you'll see it right there in the very first line.

        April 21, 2012 at 1:58 am |
      • Gitrdone...

        OH,who cares.

        April 21, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
      • Dave, CA

        You all are idiots. It clearly says that an elephant got stuck in the washing machine and that Mr. Poofington enjoys a beer after a night out with the girls. Jesus!

        April 22, 2012 at 3:08 am |
      • linden

        Depp put out this statement:

        "Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch 'Dark Shadows.' His elegance and grace was an inspiration then and will continue to .you need to learn read!!!!

        April 24, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Shannon

      Vampirella, "Dark Shadows" reruns ran in syndication for years following its initial run and many local stations ran it in the afternoon around 4pm on the East Coast. I was only 2 years old when "DS" first aired in 1967 but I also used to "run home" after school to catch it in the early and mid-70's.

      April 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • nypeach

      Don't forget they showed Dark Shadows in syndication sometime in the late 70s. They left out the first year or so of the show and started with the apperance of Barnabas. My aunt remembered the show from it's first run and was excited for me to see it. I still remember the day it went from black and white to color - Victoria Winters' greyish leather jacket was now a vivid red and blue.
      So maybe that's when Johnny Depp rushed home from school (as I did). We're about the same age.

      April 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
      • fitfordragoncon

        I'm in my 30's and watched the show in reruns as a kid. I honestly didn't even know there was a pre-Barnabas period of the show until now.

        April 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Skylark Song

      Hellooooo.. Reruns! The same way I watched.

      April 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
      • Dave, CA

        Skylark rocks. midnight only. in the gardern...

        April 22, 2012 at 3:10 am |
    • ScottB

      I agree....Depp must've seen the syndication version...he was way too young. It seems Tim Burton has made his Dark Shadows into a comedic version. Too bad. Depp is becoming very predictable, but I'm glad Jonathan Frid gave his blessing.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Catwing

      Depp could have watched it before syndication – he's only a year older than I am and I watched the original broadcasts. I started watching when I was about 5 because my grandmother watched it so that was around 1969 and the show ran until '71. All I know is I loved it and Barnabas will always be in my heart because Mr. Frid was a thespian of the finest order. RIP, you will be sorely missed.

      April 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Karen


      April 24, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  44. Valyn Pi

    I used to run home , too. I loved with Barnabas. Ah, those were the days when blood was black and white an violence was more illusion that reality.

    April 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Dave, CA

      I used to run home too, but that was because Father O'Malley was chasing me with a tent in his vestments.

      April 22, 2012 at 3:11 am |
  45. Peggy

    I had a terrible crush on Barnabas Collins. I had a fantasy we would be married and he would bite me in the neck and make me his forever bride. LOL! RIP Dear Heart...

    April 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Linda

      i did too I don't know why but I did. Maybe because he was such a strong character.

      April 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  46. Aingeal

    I remember the failing old soap opera and the very unexpected turnaround referred to in Fangoria. It was my favorite part of the day, watching Barnabas and the saga of the Collins family. My mother actually knew Mr. Frid, though I never met him. Like the others in the article have mentioned, she found him a kind and gracious man. He made vampires cool - and they had never been cool before. They had been fearsome monsters, but Barnabas let us see a different side. We felt for him and were enchanted by him. I don't think we'd have Twilight today if we hadn't had Dark Shadows earlier.

    April 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  47. Wild Child

    As a little girl, I couldn't decide who I was more in love with, Barnabas or Quentin. They were both oh so dreamy, but for different reasons. Thank you, Mr. Frid, for a delicious time in my childhood - watching Dark Shadows. Blessings and safe passage

    April 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  48. Tet

    I remember as a young kid watching this show and being scared but still watching it week after week. Barnabas Collins was the best. RIP Mr. Frid.

    April 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  49. auntieam

    I also used to run home every day to watch Dark Shadows. I adored the show. I would be upset if my bus was late, but I would try to watch every minute possible. Jonathan Frid was just incredible as Barnabus Collins. Scary, campy, really well done, even funny sometimes, all the things that make you get very involved in a character. What a great all around cast too! I wanted to be Angelique so badly. I still miss the show. Mr. Frid, you brought many people alot of happiness. Some may imitate, but no one can replace your Barnabus Collins. No one.

    April 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  50. Josette

    My mother named me after that show. I see other people who have commented similarly. I wonder just how many of us "Josette's" there are out there because of that show!!!???

    April 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Skylark Song

      I know a lady named Angelique after the pretty witch.

      April 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • sparky

      I know a Josette in Brooklyn who was named after the character

      April 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  51. auntieam

    I also used to run home every day to watch Dark Shadows. I adored the show. I would be upset if my bus was late, but I would try to watch every minute possible. Jonathan Frid was just incredible as Barnabus Collins. Scary, campy, really well done, even funny sometimes, just all the things that make you get very involved in a character. I still miss the show. RIP, Mr. Frid. You brought many people alot of happiness. No one can replace your Barnabus.

    April 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    Ahhhh... the world is an emptier place today. RIP sir, from the young girl who waited with baited breath everyday to watch her all time favorite show!

    April 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  53. marcia

    Remembering coming home to watch "Dark Shadows" and being affraid in the middle of the day. Great show.
    Was sad when it went off the air. Pass with care Jonathan.

    April 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  54. Andrew

    Dark Shadows was great. I love Tim Burton, but I don't think he's the right person to remake it as a movie. Burton's style is fine for his own things, but doesn't work for Dark Shadows.

    April 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • douginator


      April 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Agree. The previews that started airing this week are absolutely awful.

      April 21, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  55. Marti

    Does anyone else remember what was the most terrifying scene to me? When the ghost of Josette lifted up her veil to show Barnabas what the fall from the cliff had done to her? I had nightmares for years!

    April 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Chilihead

      Wow, same moment for me too!

      April 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • GreedyGussie

      I used to torment my little sister telling her Josette was coming. I can still see that bulging eye when she lifts her veil. I believe it is running on Netflix. Barnabas, Quentin and Angelique were my favorites. RIP Mr. Frid.

      April 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Melanie

      Oh, me too. I still occasionally think of that picture iin the middle of night thunderstorms. How funny we all remember that face so well.

      April 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
      • Marti

        Because we we all traumatized! No wonder our generation grew up a little twisted lol!

        April 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  56. Sharen N

    I was in 7th grade when dark Shadows started. I was another one who used to run home from school to watch it. RIP Jonathan

    April 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  57. gimsy

    I watched the original series. I loved it! But I don't remember Barnabas being scarey...I thought he was cool!

    April 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • douginator

      Totally agree...

      April 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm |

      I agree, I did not find him to be scarey

      April 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  58. malinda

    I watched it as a kid and have all the dvds so I watch it every night . Barnabas and Angelique always were my favorites. The whole cast had that certain chemistry that it is so hard to find. Actors and actress flubbed their lines but the story was good{ thank you Dan Curtis} and there were comical moments too. Julia Hoffman's scream,the first time they showed the wolfman he looked like a cat..very laughable.God bless you Jonathan Frid for giving so much of yourself. You'll always live on ...on the silver screen. Weird how he died on a friday the thirteenth!

    April 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

    Rest in peace Jonathan, the fans of Dark Shadows will never forget you !!!!

    April 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  60. Pete of the Tower

    I was and avid fan back in the mid 70’s when the show ran in South America (yes it was broadcasted in Spanish – a very good translation by the way). It too was a phenomenon over there. Everyone would watch and it was the topic of conversation during family meetings. Mr. Frid was the epitome of the ‘suave’ vampire. R.I.P.

    April 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  61. mdamone

    RIP Jonathan – your outstanding talent started the entire vampire-fascination on TV and in the movies that continues to this day. Your impact and memory will go on long, long after you!

    April 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  62. Claire

    My mother was such a huge Dark Shadows fan that she named my sister Josette. I remember when the show was in syndication in the 1980s, my mom, sis and I all watched it together. It was great!

    April 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  63. Bet

    RIP, Jonathon from another one of your many, many fans.

    On a side note, he died Friday, April 13th (how fitting!), not Saturday.

    April 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  64. moonster

    My mom said me and my siblings were glued to the TV set watching the show – I don't remember any of it but caught a few episodes online and still don't remember the show. RIP Johnathan. Welcome home.

    April 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  65. Dee Rrr

    I LOVED Dark Shadows – scared me to death as a little kid. I remember it was on and I was so scared I went outside in the sun and was still scared. Also checking under my bed "there are no ghosties and goblins under there". The Barnabas character was a main reason to watch. I got excited when they tried to revive it a while ago, but it just wasn't quite the same.

    April 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  66. AnnS

    I used to come home and watch Dark Shadows as well. Jonathan Frid was and is today the epitome of a vampire. I was such a fanatic that I saw both the movies. And, do you remember the books that were published as the series continued? I read them all, too. I was crazy about Barnabas and the character that David Selby played. God Bless your family and rest in peace, jonathan.

    April 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Johnny

      I'm not sure what happened to my response to you, but here goes again. I bought most of those books as well. I wonder how much they're worth now.

      April 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  67. lindaluttrell

    I loved this show and rush home from school each day! Frid's Barnabas is right up there with Lugosi's Dracula. If you have NETFLIX, you can watch the entire series.

    April 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  68. lindaluttrell

    I loved this show and rush home from school each day! Frid's Barnabas is right up there with Lugosi's Dracula. If you have NETFLIX, you can watch the entire series.

    April 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Mickle

      Sorry, but you can't watch the whole series on Netflix. Netflix's episodes begin about the time of Barnabas's first appearances and stop shortly after the first time travel storyline begins. Still, that's an awful lot of Barnabas! It really amazes me seeing it now that it's anywhere near as compelling as it is, given the time and budget constraints. Incerdible what they were able to do. Of all the actors, though, I have to say that Kathryn Leigh Scott's performance holds up really well. She seldom blanks out like a lot of the others did and was always right in there no matter how outrageous the scene. So long, Mr. Frid. We'll never forget you.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  69. texasfan

    I'm personally sad at his passing. I used to look forward to every episode of Dark Shadows and the decidedly weird adventures of Barnabas and his "posse". No one's even come close the adventurous ridiculousness of this show and I loved every minute of it. A shame Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are completely defiling his memory with this silly "homage".

    April 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  70. Jackson

    I went to one of the conventions once. Jonathan was not there, but the actors that played Maggie, Quentin, Eve, Willy, Jeb were all there. Angelique and Caroline has family commitments and could not attend that weekend, unfortunately.

    I have the entire series on dvd, and enjoy it immensely.

    April 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  71. Mike P

    My cousin and I had the Dark Shadows board game too!

    April 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Sunflower

      I had the board game as well. I was the only kid in my neighborhood that had one... I'd forgotten about that....

      April 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  72. Shakira

    RIP Mr. Frid, my mother got me hooked on Dark Shadows in the 1990's on the Sci Fi Channel. I fell in love with the show. You were a great actor and brought Barnabas to life. Off screen you showed class that few actors show today. I will be looking for you in your cameo. RIP

    April 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  73. Summer

    I would like to say that I am so thrilled to have read such heartwarming and loving tributes. This to me is one of the reasons I love the internet. We are all connecting today with shared memories and it is so touching! It is wonderful to share Jonathan's passing with fellow Dark Shadows lovers...Thank you everyone!!!!!!!

    April 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  74. Debby

    I joiin the ranks of all those who ran home from school to watch Dark Shadows. I'm old enough to have seen the original series.

    "Maybe because he was a "man", not like these pale faced, whimpy vampires that dominant the screen today. Thank you Jonathan Frid for the hours of enjoyment you brought to the small screen."

    Susanna, well said!

    April 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  75. GH

    As Barnabas, Frid could scare me with just a look. And I too was one of those kids running home after school to watch the show. I had the board game; anybody remember it? You had to be the first to fully assemble a skeleton in a coffin, and the winner wore the white plastic fangs. I even made my grandmother buy me a cape to wear around the house, though it wasn't shoulder-yoked like the one Barnabas wore. Both Frid and the show itself were among my greatest childhood memories and influences. I don't plan to see the movie, which appears to be a parody that doesn't do the original series justice. R.I.P. Jonathan - you were the first and ultimate Barnabas, and an amazing and effective actor.

    April 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  76. Barb

    Oh, this is so sad. What a fine man. Rest in peace.

    April 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  77. yneemee

    Thank you for being a gentleman in all you did – unlike many of today's actors especially some "reality stars" who will not be remembered 10 years past their exit from television, you will always be an honored friend to many who did not ever met you in person even if, on occasion, you had the need for a little blood – Dark Shadows was a true event and you were its biggest star.

    April 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  78. Johnny

    I was a huge fan of "Dark Shadows". I watched it with all the curtains closed and the lights turned off just for it feel even scarier. During its last year our school bus broke down a few times and I would be absolutely fuming because I knew I wouldn't get home in time to catch the show. There was a similar show on a couple of years earlier. Does anyone on this board remember "Strange Paradise"? It was a daytime drama from Canada about a man trying to bring his dead wife back to life.

    April 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Summer

      Dark Shadows totally ruled my work!! I am so grateful to Jonathan Frid for bring such romance and thrill into my life. Everyone connected with Dark Shadows was incredible. Winter afternoons FINALLY running up our lane from the bus stop, racing down to the tv in our dark basement anxiously waiting for the theme song to start. Dark Shadows had everything...handsome vampire (sigh) with a wolf head cane and THAT RING. Josette's scent of Jasmine as her ghost haunted the mansion and our governess Victoria Winters...Angelique's witchy ways...Willie Loomis...the mausoleum...Dr. Hoffman and her obsession...that music box...that HOUSE...stormy nights with cliffs over raging just doesn't get any better. Thank you forever Jonathan!!! Best vampire ever bar none. EVER.

      April 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Bruce Hays

      Yes, Johnny, I well remember "Strange Paradise". Millionaire Jean Paul Desmond, and his alter ego, evil 17th century pirate Jacques Eloi DesMondes! I actually still have the paperback novelization of the show!

      April 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  79. Tribute To A Great Actor

    Jonathan will be sorely missed. He was the reason America would turn on their t.v. sets to watch each and every afternoon! He was wonderful as Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows. Thank you, Dan Curtis, for bringing us this fine entertainment. Grayson Hall, who is pictured here with him was also great as Dr. Julia Hoffman who we simply will never forget. I remember seeing Jonathan on a talk show many years back where he spoke to the host about a female fan sending him a nude picture. Indeed, his fans loved him in life and will continue to love him as he enters the Afterlife! You touched many hearts, Jonathan, with your rare talent and acting ability and there will never again be another "Barnabas Collins!"

    April 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Ann

      I agree with absolutely everything you have said. Thank you thank you thank you to Jonathan Frid and everyone connected with Dark Shadows. I truly think of my love and sense of thrill for the show to be one of the most memorable experiences of my life!!!!

      April 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Shakira

      I could have not said it any better, my mom showed me the greatness of Dark Shadows.

      April 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • EV

      I would run home after school, get a cup full of raisins which I would lightly salt, and watch Dark Shadows. I watched it because Barnabas,with his Inverness cape, his wolf-head cane, spiked hair and ring was really cool. I have the music box them on my iPad. I think he was interviewed by Dick Cavett at one point.

      April 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  80. clevercandi

    It was the romance that was wrapped around the Barnabas character – whether it was Josette DuPres, Maggie Evans, Victoria Winters, Roseanne Drew or Angelique, didn't matter. What did matter was that he treated all the women with the utmost respect, even when he tried to "turn" them.

    RIP, Mr. Frid. You will long be remembered as a kind and loving man.

    Peace 🙂

    April 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Summer


      April 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Tamestry

      I Agree With Everything you said, but just wanted to mention that it was Roxanne Drew, not Roseanne.

      April 21, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  81. Marti

    Being one of the millions of kids who ran home and sat on the floor in front of the TV console adjusting the rabbit ears antenna and cramming in their homework between Dark Shadows and the 4:30 Movie, I feel a great loss at the passing of this gentleman. How good this entire cast was at their craft – maintaining the utmost professionalism thoughout the infamous set malfunctions, impromtu appearances of stagehands running to get out of the way of the camera unsuccessfully lol, and the fly who did his best to ruin every dramatic scene for 6 years straight by landing smack on the tip of the nose of the actor in mid-Shakespearean rant. Even the forgotten lines (and Mr. Frid had triple the amount of dialogue than other cast members, poor man) were handled with as much dignity as possible...Barnabas: "Tell them that you saw nothing." Willie: "Okaaaayyyy. Ummm, but what do I tell them?" Barnabas: "THAT YOU SAW NOTHING!" Priceless!

    April 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  82. Linda

    Who could forget that ring he wore.

    April 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Summer

      Right? His hand wrapped around the wolf head cane and THAT RING!!!!!

      April 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  83. Tony

    I also would run home to watch Dark Shadows and i was only in first grade.. its what made me a supernatural fan!!! rest in peace Mr Frid. Your loyal Fan always...

    April 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  84. Mary

    I feel like one of the Beatles died – I am truly in mourning. One of my happiest childhood memories is running home from school to watch Dark Shadows. Mr. Frid portrayed the first sympathetic vampire. He was truly a tortured soul and no one could do it like Frid!

    R.I.P., Dear Jonathan!

    April 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  85. DIANNA

    How many remember The house of Dark Shadows the movie. We don't remember seeing him much with fangs, i a gree take them off,

    April 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  86. Mi Ning

    Barnabas was the perfect vampire, just as Spock was the perfect Vulcan. Jonathan Frid was an amazing screen presence. We will always remember him fondly.

    April 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  87. FridFan

    Best. Vampire. Ever. R.I.P.

    April 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Linda

      And that's the truth!!

      April 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
      • Ann

        Oh yeah.

        April 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  88. Cathy'sonlydaughter815

    I can't believe how many posts I've read about people running home from school to watch Dark Shadows! My Mother had Dark Shadows on every week day at 3pm on WABC NY. I could hear the theme music to the show in the house after coming in from school. After my Mother greeted my brothers and I from school, I sat with her and watched the show. I was hooked! That memory I enjoy so much because Dark Shadows was one of my Mother's favorite shows.

    April 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Katie

      I loved Dark Shadows! I was one of those who ran home to watch it. Then our school hours changed and we didn't get home in time to watch. Someone thought to bring along a transistor radio – remember those? – and tuned to a low frequency, we could hear the television station on the radio. The bus driver probably wondered why we were all so quiet and crammed into the back of the bus...

      April 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Linda

      We did here in the Nashville area as well. The bus dropped a bunch of us off at one bus stop and we would all literally run to our houses to see the show. It had so much suspense and Barnabas was so cool, not to mention Angelique what a witch, cute but evil.

      April 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  89. Not a vampire

    My mom watched Dark Shadows when I was little. I'd watch it from under a blanket because it scared me!

    April 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  90. barbara

    How about showing some respect for this actor and show his real picture? I'm sure he didn't have fangs in real life.

    April 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • G

      Wow. Some people will be offended and upset by anything.

      April 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Mark

      No...but apparently you do Barbara. Get over it! That's the character he was known for. Geez

      April 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • JC

      He's in the new movie. Every dime it makes pays his estate royalties. No such thing as bad publicity.

      April 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Summer

      Please he loved it....Jonathan was a Prince!!!

      April 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Bet

      Feel better now?

      April 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  91. Lyn

    I too used to run home from school to catch Dark Shadows and then talk to my friends about the show. We spent a lot of hours discussing the show and all the girls loved Jonathan - mind you we also talked about David Selby, he was so cute. So how about another Dark Shadows sequel on TV?

    April 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Marti

      I actually bought the 45 of Quentin's Theme!

      April 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
      • Mike P

        The filp-side of "Quentin's theme" 45 was "Number One at the Blue Whale" which was the instrumental song that was always playing at the local bar. I still have this 45.

        April 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
      • kate

        I couldn't find the 45. I ended up with a 33 record of songs recorded on the organ, lol. I bought it for Quentin's Theme, aka Lara's Theme...sigh. I was SOOO in LOVE with Quentin. I loved Barnabus too, although I wasn't frightened of him at all.

        April 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  92. Chocoholic

    I loved Dark Shadows as a kid. It was fun, campy and a treasured memory watching it with my friends. God bless his family. Can't wait to see his cameo in the new film.

    April 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • chris Synfield

      I had bought the album for the series, that featured not only music from the series but poems of Chirstina Rossetti read by Mr. Frid & I believe David Selby. I still remember the poems to this day..... they were great.

      April 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  93. Susanna

    Back when knighthood was in flower, my 16 year old heart beat mighty fast when Mr. Frid came on screen. I was simply mad about "Dark Shadows" and most particiularly Barnabas Collins. Don't know what it was about him, but Mr. Frid had "IT" and was a joy to watch. Maybe because he was a "man", not like these pale faced, whimpy vampires that dominant the screen today. Thank you Jonathan Frid for the hours of enjoyment you brought to the small screen.

    April 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • kottmyer

      Same here. I had an enormous crush on him. . . just saw a preview of the "DS" movie before Hunger Games the other day. I told my husband I was looking forward to seeing the cameos of the old cast.... ;( RIP, Jonathan.

      April 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  94. hypatia

    RIP Jonathan Frid. You made weekday afternoons worth running that half-mile home from the busstop.

    April 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm |