Jonathan Frid, best known for starring as vampire Barnabas Collins in ABC’s supernatural soap opera “Dark Shadows,” died of natural causes on Friday, April 13, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He was 87.
Frid had recently shot a cameo in Tim Burton’s bigscreen adaptation of “Dark Shadows,” in which Johnny Depp plays Barnabas. That film is set to premiere on May 11.
The original “Dark Shadows” series, created by Dan Curtis, ran for more than 1,200 episodes from 1967-71.
Frid also starred in the feature film based on the series and released in 1970, “House of Dark Shadows,” appeared in ABC’s 1973 horror telepic “The Devil’s Daughter,” which starred Shelley Winters, and starred in an early effort by Oliver Stone, the 1974 horror film “Seizure.” But he actually spent most of his professional career on the stage.
John Herbert Frid was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and served in the Royal Canadian Navy during WWII. He graduated from McMaster U., attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and earned a Master’s in directing at the Yale School of Drama.
Frid appeared in repertory in the U.K. and Canada and did stage work at the Williamstown Theater Festival and San Diego’s Old Globe Theater. Directed by John Houseman, he appeared opposite Katherine Hepburn in a production of “Much Ado About Nothing” at the American Shakespeare Festival. He appeared on Broadway in a 1986 revival of “Arsenic and Old Lace” and subsequently toured in the play. Frid also appeared in one-man shows that he produced.