Jonathan Frid, the first Barnabas Collins, dead at 87


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Jonathan Frid, the original Barnabas CollinsIt is being reported that Jonathan Frid, who played the vampire Barnabas Collins on the daytime soap opera version of Dark Shadows has died.

The report was confirmed by the publicist working on the upcoming release of Dark Shadows: The Complete Series on DVD.

According to The Daily Beast, "An unconventional romantic lead, Frid's depiction of Barnabas Collins as both a man out of time and in the throes of an existential crisis due to the nature of his affliction would become influential on popular culture, transforming vampires from thoughtless creatures into tragic entities constantly at war with their own humanity."  The Daily Beast continues...

"Barnabas' storylines often involved his quest to reclaim his lost love, Josette, whom he believed to have been reincarnated into the present day, after he is released from his centuries-long slumber in the family crypt."

The timing of Frid's couldn't be more eerie. The new Dark Shadows feature film starring Johnny Depp as the 200 year old vampire opens May 11th in theaters.

Johnny Depp as Tim Burton's Barnabas Collins in the Dark Shadows film out May 11In the movie version, directed by Tim Burton and also starring Michelle Pheiffer, Depp's portrayal of Barnabas is more tongue-in-cheek, poking fun at his situation with a straight, ghostly pale, face. Or, so that's how it appears in the trailers.

Frid and other stars from the original TV series have cameos in the film.

But this is not the first time there's been a remake of ABC original soap opera that aired from 1966-1971.  There was also a short-lived prime time version of Dark Shadows in 1991 starring Ben Cross and Joanna Going.

Soapdom sends our deepest sympathies to Frid's friends and family. May he rest in peace.

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