Jonathan Frid has passed away. The actor who was best known for his portrayal of Barnabas Collins on soap opera "Dark Shadows" died peacefully in his sleep at a hospital in his native Hamilton, Ontario last Friday, April 13. As news of his passing spread, his predecessor Johnny Depp shared his memory of the 87-year-old actor.
"Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch 'Dark Shadows'," recalled Depp, who takes the role of Collins in upcoming "Dark Shadows" film, in a statement released Thursday, April 19. He continued, "His elegance and grace was an inspiration then and will continue to remain one forever more."
Depp went on to share, "When I had the honor to finally meet him, as he so generously passed the torch of Barnabas to me, he was as elegant and magical as i had always imagined. My deepest condolences to his family and friends." The 48-year-old stated in the end, "The world has lost a true original."
Frid's passing came about a month before the Tim Burton-directed movie, in which he had a cameo role, opens wide in theaters across the United States on May 11. Burton himself has remembered the late actor through a statement. "It's a sad day," he said. "I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet Jonathan on the set this past spring. He left an indelible impression. Barnabas lives on!"
Another star paying tribute was Frid's co-star on "Shadows" series Kathryn Leigh Scott. In memory of the actor, she wrote on her website, "I'm so grateful to have worked with Jonathan, and to have known him as the charismatic, entertaining, complex, and plain-spoken man that he was. What fun we had working together! He was irascible, irreverent, funny, caring, lovable, and thoroughly professional."
"I won't ever forget the moment when the two Barnabas Collinses met, one in his late 80s and the other in his mid-40s, each with their wolf's head canes. Jonathan took his time scrutinizing his successor's appearance. 'I see you've done the hair,' Jonathan said to Johnny Depp, 'but a few more spikes.' Depp, entirely in character, replied, 'Yes, we're doing things a bit differently.' "
Jim Pierson, a friend and spokesman for Dan Curtis Productions, the creator of "Dark Shadows", said that Frid's health has been declining in recent weeks before he died. The actor, who is survived by a nephew, Donald Frid, requested that there was no funeral and there will be no memorial service. Pierson told The Associated Press, "He really was kind of a no-fuss guy."