Actor Jonathan Frid, while known for his work on stage, never did a lot of onscreen work. His most famous television role was that of Barnabas Collins, the moody and reluctant vampire first appearing on the daytime soap Dark Shadows in 1967, a role that propelled the then-struggling soap into a cultural phenomenon. Despite never particularly loving himself in the role, over the years, Frid’s pop culture legacy as Barnabas has remained with young and old fans alike. With a new Dark Shadows movie in the making, I expect Frid’s legacy to continue, even though the actor has now passed.

A publicist working closely with the actor on the upcoming Dark Shadows: The Complete Series release announced Frid died on April 14 from natural causes. Up until recently the 87 year-old had remained active, even posting on his personal site.

Despite never loving the Barnabas Collins role, Frid did agree to work with Tim Burton on the Dark Shadows film, and will appear in a small cameo role when the flick hits theaters in May. According to The Daily Beast, Dark Shadows actress Leigh Scott wrote today that Frid was “irascible, irreverent, funny, caring, lovable and thoroughly professional.” At the end of the day, there is no better way to go out than with a few adjectives as compelling as those Scott chose to use, and no better way to be remembered.



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