I think I went into shock when I heard that Jonathan Frid was gone. Who would have expected that? I mean he was Barnabas Collins as far as I was concerned. Besides, everyone knows that vampires can’t die!
He created Barnabas as any vampire is created. He gave him his undead life. We knew it; we felt it because we believed it.
It was all so real because of Jonathan Frid’s consummate acting ability. Every expression and movement along with that beautiful voice, gave Barnabas his undead ‘life.’ His swirling cape, his smooth movements, and his wonderfully romantic menace spawned a genuine affection for all things gothic horror.
He thrilled and scared us and made us dream dark dreams of vampires and romance! Yes, that's right! Fiction and film is where it is today, I think because of that.
Here's something: I didn’t realize there is an amazing array of Dark Shadows fiction.
If you’re a fan of the original show, please visit the above link. It contains a veritable treasure trove of Dark Shadows fiction written over the years.
From Dark Shadows Collectibles:
In her introduction to Dark Shadows: Dreams of the Dark, Lara Parker writes, "Dark Shadows was always destined to become a series of novels, if only to release those mesmerizing stories which so enraptured audiences into the imagination of the reader. For as lavish as the settings, as clever as the props, as lovely as the costumes all were, the power of the written word on the reader's dreamscape offers an even more exhilarating experience."
Also from the site:
“Starting in 1966, Paperback Library published a successful series of Gothic-themed novels based on Dark Shadows. The 32 novels (plus the novelization of the film House of Dark Shadows) were written by Canadian author Dan Ross, using the pen name Marilyn Ross…”
I hope you check out this site. I’m glued!
As for me, I remember running home from school to watch this show Monday to Friday. I was thrilled by the music, the mood, and the storylines as well as the acting and the characters.
Jonathan Frid, for me was the real draw but there was an unforgettable cast as well: Joan Bennett, Grayson Hall, Kathryn Leigh-Scott and Lara Parker as the beautiful but wicked Angelique.
And what about those scenes between Angelique and Barnabas? I mean they were thrilling!
I know really that is why I write gothic romance with a strong horror element in it. They inspired me as well as a generation of other young people.
But there were the adult fans too. Parents loved the shows. As Lorelei wrote, her mom liked to iron and watch it. So did mine! I even caught my dad watching it on the occasion he was home during the day.
Dan Curtis and his wonderful show created a sensation and like any great sensation, sparks flew and started a conflagration that is the horror genre today: fiction, film and music I think has all been inspired by this show.
And do you know what else I think? I think we were early Goths, too! If we were, I’m proud of it!
We lost Jonathan Frid but we will never lose Dark Shadows or the excitement it gave us!
|Jonathan Frid |
1924 - 2012