Johnny Depp has shared his sentiments on the passing of Canadian actor Jonathan Frid, who played the original role of Barnabas Collins in the 1960's TV Show "Dark Shadows."
Depp, who plays the vampire character in the upcoming May 11 theatrical release of a "Dark Shadows" remake, directed by Tim Burton, called Frid an "elegant and magical" actor. The 87-year-old Canadian actually passed away on Friday, April 13 in a hospital in his home town of Hamilton, Ontario, but news of his death only began circulating yesterday.
"Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch 'Dark Shadows,'" Depp shared in an email statement with the LA Times. "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."
The actor also spoke of the influence Frid had on his career, inspiring Depp's interest in supernatural and gothic stories, which have become a staple in his acting portfolio. Frid has a cameo in the new movie, the Boston Globe reported, where he meets Depp's character at a party.
"Twenty million people saw the show at its peak in 1969. Kids ran home from school and housewives watched it. It had a huge pop culture impact," commented Jim Pierson, a spokesman for Dan Curtis Productions, the creator of "Dark Shadows."
Besides being an accomplished stage actor and TV star, Frid also served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. He graduated from Hamilton's McMaster University, and earned a degree in directing at the Yale School of Drama. He also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.
His other credits include "The Devil's Daughter," a 1973 TV movie, and a role in Oliver Stone's directorial debut, "Seizure." He was also part of the Broadway revival and national tour of "Arsenic and Old Lace" in the 80s.