These days vampire movies benefit from high end special effects, actors with intricate makeup and gadgets that make them look real. Film actor Jonathan Frid did not have all these perks lying around. But he did have a boat load of talent and his vampire part in the “Dark Shadows” remains textbook material. At age 87, film actor Jonathan Frid died.
For our parents, Jonathan Frid was just as popular as Robert Pattinson of Twilight is now. He was perhaps the greatest vampire playing actor we’ve ever had, making vampire Barnabas Collins emblematic for the time. But, coincidence or not, at least Jonathan Frid’s death is going to give a great opening for Johnny Depp’s and Tim Burton’s own remake of the dark soap opera “Dark Shadows”.
The Canadian film actor Jonathan Frid became famous for his performance in the soap opera “Dark Shadows”. His playing of the vampire Barnabas Collins was exactly what the show needed back in the 1967 and ever since then the part became emblematic. On April 13th, Jonathan Frid died of natural causes in the Hamilton hospital.
With Jonathan Frid fresh in mind, many will look to find dissimilarities between Johnny Depp’s performance of Barnabas Collins and that of the Canadian actor. As charismatic and skilled as Johnny Depp might be, Jonathan Frid remains a standalone mark in the vampire niche movie industry. As the former Jack Sparrow got news of Jonathan Frid’s death, he said that the world lost “a true original”.
In an email, Johnny Depp wrote: “Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch Dark Shadows. His elegance and grace was an inspiration then and will continue to remain one forever more”.
One thing is for sure, if it wasn’t for Jonathan Frid’s Barnabas Collins we wouldn’t have today’s vampires such as Twilight’s Cullen family or True Blood’s Bill Compton. Producers and actors today took heed of Frid’s advice on playing a monster such as a vampire. The former actor advised vampires should become more sympathetic. “Make him human. Remember he’s real, and every monster is a human of sorts” he said and this is how we got the very sensible vampires teenager girls today can’t help not fall in love with.
I’ve been a huge fan of Jonathan’s Frid’s Barnabas since I was a child. I even wrote a song looking to capture the deep and complex character of Barnabas. Let me know what you think. You can hear that on youtube