Marion Pellicano Ambrose
“Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch ‘Dark Shadows, 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 world has lost a true original.”
These were the words used by Johnny Depp to describe actor, Jonathan Frid, who died at the age of 87, (oddly enough on Friday April 13th). Depp will be playing the part of Barnabus Collins in the new Dark Shadows Film by Warner Brothers. Check out the movie trailer: http://darkshadowsmovie.warnerbros.com/index.html ) Frid plays a cameo role in the new film.
Like Johnny Depp, I too used to race home from school to watch the original Dark Shadows with my older sister. We were so scared sometimes, we held hands. We were latchkey kids and so were alone each day for the latest episode. There were lots of great characters, Angelique, Dr. Julia, and others, but the real star of the soap opera was Barnabus Collins, vampire and dashing, romantic figure!
Years later, reruns of Dark Shadow came on TV. I couldn’t wait to watch and be scared and excited like I was so many years ago. When it finally aired, I couldn’t believe it. What was so exciting then was now SLOOOWW! The budget was so low that they could only afford have 2 or 3 characters on each day. The story dragged out and the effects were so lame it was funny to look at them in this age of awesome special effects. Nevertheless, that doesn’t take away for the phenomenon that was Dark Shadows back in the day! For its time, this soap opera was cutting edge, serious entertainment for a generation of vampire loving school kids!