Just learned that actor Jonathan Frid, who played Barnabas Collins on the TV series Dark Shadows, died this week. In an odd coincidence, I had just been reading about the series in the new book Return to Collinwood and watched several episodes of the show over the last few days.
Like many people of my generation, I can recall watching Dark Shadows after school. I'd get off the bus and hurry to my grandmother's house (she had a bigger TV than we had at home) to plop down and watch the tragic vampire Barnabas deal with whatever supernatural menace the show was featuring that week. Witches, ghosts, werewolves, even a Lovecraftian pre-human race. Barnabas traveled in time and into alternate dimensions, There was never another soap opera like Dark Shadows.
It's a little sad that Frid won't get to see the premier of the new Dark Shadows film, in which he and several other members of the cast of the original series have cameo appearances. I don't have high hopes for the movies since it's a comedy (though I do like some of Tim Burton's films) but it would have been nice if Frid could have enjoyed the limelight once more. in any case, I have fond memories of watching Dark Shadows and most of those are related to Frid's performance as Barnabas Collins.