Post by Graveyardbride on Dec 2, 2013 11:20:55 GMT -5
Dark Shadows Star Jonathan Frid, ‘elegant, magical’
Jonathan Frid was born December 2, 1924, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He was a trained Shakespearean stage actor, but would have lived and died unknown to all but family and close friends, but for a call his starring role as the darkly debonaire vampire Barnabas Collins on the TV soap opera Dark Shadows.
Frid died in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 14, before Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows remake, in which Frid had a cameo appearance, was released.
Johnny Depp, who played the role of Barnabas in the Burton movie, said the world had lost “a true original.”
Depp grew up as an ardent fan of Dark Shadows and that passion led to the film version remake, which premiered May 11, 2012, with Depp as a key producer and starring in the role made famous by Frid. Director Tim Burton brought Frid and other original series cast members in for cameos in the movie, giving Depp a chance to share the screen with an idol of his youth.
In a conversation that stretched over a series of emails, Depp said it was clear last on the London set of the Dark Shadows film that Frid had reached a fragile time in his life. “Very sad,” Depp said of the news of Frid’s passing in a hospital in his hometown of Hamilton.
“Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch Dark Shadows,” Depp said. “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 ... [he] generously passed the torch of Barnabas.”
While on the Shadows set, Depp talked about his youth in Miramar, Florida, and the influence of Frid on ”this young kid” who had an outsider spirit and adored the way Dark Shadows transported him to “some other dimension I had never seen before.”
The show’s setting was Maine – pretty different from the sun-beaten suburb of South Florida – but Depp felt such an affinity for the forlorn Barnabas that he borrowed some of his gestures and phrases when he was young. That connection is intriguing considering the amount of time that Depp would later spend inside the skulls of eccentric lost souls. Frid may have been the bright north star that led Depp into a career of spooky mansions and gothic superstardom, which would explain why Depp was giddy when he met Frid for the first time. Barnabas, Depp pointed out, did not disappoint that day. As elegant and magical,” Depp remembered, “as I had always imagined.”
Source: Geoff Boucher, Los Angeles Hero Complex.
Note: This, of course, begs the questions: Why did Depp’s “Barnabas” look and act more like Michael Jackson than the “elegant and magical” Jonathan Frid? Either Depp didn’t borrow enough of Frid’s “gestures and phrases,” or he isn’t much of an actor!