One of the most unlikely 16 Magazine faves of all time has passed away. Jonathan Frid was a classically (RADA and Yale) trained actor who accepted the career-defining role of vampire Barnabas Collins on "Dark Shadows" as a way to finance a move to Hollywood. But the introduction of his character in March of 1967, one year into the 5-year run of the show, set off a frenzy of popularity for the gothic soap opera and for the brooding Barnabas in particular. Frid was on a hit show, and in New York he stayed for several decades.
Gloria Stavers caught on to the show's popularity and began watching it daily so she could write about it in 16. Readers learned more about Collinwood and its inhabitants with the serialized "The Whole True Story of Dark Shadows," and articles like "We're Not Freaks!" introduced the off-camera lives of the cast. Soon color pinups of the distinguished actor were appearing alongside teen stars half his age, and Frid went along with it by gamely participating in 16's standard articles such as "My Hates & Loves." He and his equally popular co-star David Selby were frequent visitors to 16's offices.
After the series ended in 1971, Frid returned to the theater. But even decades later, his popularity among fans never wained, and he attended several fan conventions in recent years. Last summer he and other original cast members traveled to England to film cameos for the upcoming Tim Burton "Dark Shadows" film starring Frid's long-time fan Johnny Depp. Fans will get to see Jonathan Frid's final performance on May 11th.