Friday, April 20, 2012

Jonathan Frid, ‘Dark Shadows’ Star, Is Dead at 87

Observations about Ted Nugent will have to wait one more night. (Unfortunately, The Blog suspects that he isn't going anywhere, soon.)

The Curmudgeon wants to spend a few moments reminiscing about someone much less horrifying, Barnabas Collins, AKA: Jonathan Frid.

Barnabas Collins was the 175 year old vampire who found himself awakening in the late 1960s and thrust into the world of a strange, low rent, low rated and gaffe prone soap opera known as "Dark Shadows."

Jonathan Frid was the Shakespearian actor who portrayed Barnabas, and similarly, found himself thrust into the world of a strange, low rent, low rated and gaffe prone soap opera known as "Dark Shadows."

And with that introduction, "Dark Shadows" became something that would alter an entire generation.

Sure, you can blame/credit The Beatles, Viet Nam, Woodstock, "free love" and "HAIR"  for the revolution that came with The Blog's generation. But, you would be missing a major contributor.

Frid's Barnabas and the ghosts, werewolves and witches that he brought with him had an entire generation of kids running home from school every afternoon to watch this strange, dark, campy phenomenon.

The Blog's generation was Goth before goth was invented.

Because of Jonathan Frid, The Young Blog wore a large, black ring on his index finger for several years, with no apologies. To this day, he still covets the wolf head cane that Barnabas carried.

Barnabas was immortal. But, sadly, Jonathan was not. This morning, he received the blessed relief that Barnabas longed for. Jonathan Frid passed away today at the age of 87.

The New York Times reports...

The Blog had the honor of meeting Mr. Frid a number of years ago. Jonathan was playing the Boris Karloff inspired Jonathan Brewster in the play "Arsenic and Old Lace."  (A role that The Blog himself had played about seven years earlier.) At a "meet and greet" after the show, Mr. Frid was warm and gracious.

Ironically/strangely/coincidentally, or maybe, poetically, Jonathan Frid passed away one day before the release of the Tim Burton remake of "Dark Shadows" starring Johnny Depp. Mr. Frid appeared in a cameo in the film. His last acting role.

It seems fitting that he got to pass the role of the immortal Collins patriarch on to a new generation via the quirky Mr. Depp.

The world moves on and The Curmudgeon is at peace with that.

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