According to the LA Times, Frid succumbed to unspecified natural causes on Friday, April 13, in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario.
“It’s a sad day,” Director Tim Burton, whose film version of Dark Shadows hits movie screens in May, said of Frid’s death. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet Jonathan on the set this past Spring. He left an indelible impression. Barnabas lives on!”
Besides Dark Shadows, which originally aired on ABC between June 1966 and April 2, 1971, Frid made appearances in a number of movies including the 1973 TV film The Devil’s Daughter and 1974 horror flick Seizure.
Frid’s final screen role was a cameo in the forthcoming Dark Shadows film remake.
Digital Spy writes that actor Johnny Depp, who steps into Barnabas’ cape for the upcoming movie, has long been an unashamed fan of TV’s Dark Shadow s— especially of Frid.
“I loved the show when I was a kid [and] I was obsessed with Barnabas Collins,” the Hollywood star said in 2009. “I have photographs of me holding Barnabas Collins posters when I was 5 or 6.”
Outside of his TV and film roles, Jonathan Frid had an extensive stage career, including a Broadway and national tour of “Arsenic and Old Lace” in the mid-1980s.
Following Frid’s death, Kathryn Leigh Scott, who starred along side Jonathan on Dark Shadows as Maggie Evans and Josette duPres, paid tribute to her longtime friend via her website.
“I am so grateful to have worked with Jonathan and to have known him as the charismatic, entertaining, complex and plain spoken man that he was. What fun we had working together! He was irascible, irreverent, funny, caring, lovable and thoroughly professional, and in the end became the whole reason why kids ran home from school to watch Dark Shadows.”
Frid is survived by a nephew, Donald Frid.
Check out Jonathan Frid in the following clip from the original Dark Shadows below: