RIP Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins)


Barnabas Collins

Barnabas Collins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jonathan Frid died on Friday from natural causes.   I was really surprised when I read that he was 87.  It seems like only a few years ago that I was watching him play Barnabas Collins in the soap opera, Dark Shadows

His age shouldn’t surprise me because I watched it when I was 16, and the name of this blog is Joy at 60.  Time really is fleeting.   

I’d heard a new movie of Dark shadows was coming out in May, and I was really looking forward to it’s premiere. I think Johnny Depp will make a perfect Barnabas Collins.  He is one of the few actors I enjoy watching because he seems to know he’s acting, not playing himself.  I thought he made a terrific Edward Scissorhands.

I used to come home from high school, and watch Dark Shadows at 4:00. (Why I remember that, I couldn’t tell you.)  The acting was over the top, but that’s one of the things I liked about it.

The best vampire of all was Jonathan Frid, Barnabas Collins.  He started out a bad vampire, but he did some things to help people too. He was regretful about being a vampire—he felt a little pang of guilt every time he had to turn a human into a vampire by biting their necks and drinking their blood

He was the vampire you loved to hate, but then loved again. He bit a series of necks. I lost interest after a few years.  The series ran until 1971. It seemed to be too much of the same thing. They also waved a lot of crosses around, so the unlucky vampire couldn’t come out  of his wooden casket and turn other hapless live human beings into vampires.

Frid was an accomplished stage actor before he took on the role of Barnabas Collins, but he was best known for his vampire role. He made a movie, and a nice living representing Barnabas at  Dark Shadow events.

I thought the Twilight series was a bit of a rip off of Dark Shadows but I only attended one movie, and haven’t read the books yet.

The producers of the new Dark Shadows movie must appreciate the timing of his death. It’s due to come out in May, and  Frid has a small cameo in it. Now, I really want to see the movie. I have a feeling I’ll be waiting in line with all the other Baby Boomers.

Did you watch Dark Shadows? What do you remember about it?

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