Jonathan Frid, the Canadian actor who originally portrayed Barnabas Collins in "Dark Shadows," will not be able to see its remake for the silver screen.
The 87-year-old actor who found fame playing a ghoulish, lovelorn and extremely popular character on the soap opera "Dark Shadows" passed away on April 13 in Hamilton, Ontario, according to CNN. His nephew said the actor had spent two weeks in the hospital battling pneumonia before he died.
Frid, who shot a cameo for the remake, directed by Tim Burton, with Johnny Depp taking over the Collins character, "was excited" about the remake, said his nephew, according to CNN.
Several of his cast mates also made cameos in the film, to be released May 11, according to The New York Times.
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The Times said that though the Barnabas character went on to become the public face of the show, he didn't appear until 200 episodes into the soap opera when the creators were casting about for ways to increase flagging ratings.
Barnabas was meant to be a short term addition but the low budget campiness of the soap quickly found an audience. Barnabas was "a vulnerable vampire, who pined for his lost love, Josette ... He was racked with guilt over his thirst for blood, and Mr. Frid played him as a man in the grip of a compulsion he devoutly wished to shake," said The Times.
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Jim Pierson, a spokesman for the creator of "Dark Shadows," said, "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," according to the Associated Press.
Depp, the star of the remake, told The Los Angeles Times, "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. When I had the honor to finally meet him … [he] generously passed the torch of Barnabas."
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