4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

RIP Jonathan Frid: His Final Barnabas Collins Performance

None

A mere three weeks before the opening of the new Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version of Dark Shadows, the original melancholy bloodsucker Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins) has passed away. He was 87.

Frid and several other original cast members are said to play cameos in the new movie (judging by the ghastly trailer, those cameos may be the only thing worth seeing in the reboot).

Not long ago, I picked up a copy of a new audio play, The Night Whispers, featuring Frid finally playing Barnabas again, for the first time in nearly 40 years. The show also features John Karlen as Willie and 1990s revival series cast member Barbara Steele.

I have to admit I was quite startled at how ravaged Frid's voice was: not quite Jack Klugman-ravaged, but somewhat akin. It took almost half the show before my mind was able to reconcile that it was actually Jonathan Frid I was listening to.

That said, his performance is quite stellar – even the cadence sounds different than his younger self, but he eventually drew me into the story, or rather his series of reflective monologues, which is mostly what the CD contains. Karlen’s Willie is mainly there just to bounce dialogue off, and it’s comical when poor ol’ Willie tries to interject one of his own flashbacks (“Yeah, that reminds me of….”), only to have Barnabas cut him off with the impatience of someone who has very little time left to “share.”

At least he didn't resort to whacking Willie with his wolfhead cane yet again (nobody, but nobody, could beat their Willie like old Barney!)

Barbara Steele's character is basically a narrative utility here, albeit one lovely to listen to, especially compared to the hoarse (night)whispers of Karlen and Frid.

As Frid spoke, I couldn’t help but picture in my mind the rapidly-aged Barnabas of the FIRST DS feature film, House of Dark Shadows. Which was all the more off putting because his character here doesn’t appear to be late in his mortal life. He speaks of many hopeful things for the future, even tho he sounds for all the world like a man practice-reading his last will and testament.

All in all, it was a thrill to finally hear Jonathan Frid as Barnabas one more time. Though I’ve never felt the full weight of those 40 years quite so much as I did listening to him.

I'm hit even harder today after hearing news of his passing.

Here's my favorite fan-made "trailer" for the original Dark Shadows TV show, set to "Time is Running Out" by Muse:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE2MmEsK7Bg

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Bought houses on Brookes, Upas, 8th Avenue, Georgia Street

San Diego early house flippers
Next Article

Three of San Diego's most accessible waterfalls

Green Valley Falls, Borrego Palm Canyon, Peñasquitos Canyon

None

A mere three weeks before the opening of the new Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version of Dark Shadows, the original melancholy bloodsucker Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins) has passed away. He was 87.

Frid and several other original cast members are said to play cameos in the new movie (judging by the ghastly trailer, those cameos may be the only thing worth seeing in the reboot).

Not long ago, I picked up a copy of a new audio play, The Night Whispers, featuring Frid finally playing Barnabas again, for the first time in nearly 40 years. The show also features John Karlen as Willie and 1990s revival series cast member Barbara Steele.

I have to admit I was quite startled at how ravaged Frid's voice was: not quite Jack Klugman-ravaged, but somewhat akin. It took almost half the show before my mind was able to reconcile that it was actually Jonathan Frid I was listening to.

That said, his performance is quite stellar – even the cadence sounds different than his younger self, but he eventually drew me into the story, or rather his series of reflective monologues, which is mostly what the CD contains. Karlen’s Willie is mainly there just to bounce dialogue off, and it’s comical when poor ol’ Willie tries to interject one of his own flashbacks (“Yeah, that reminds me of….”), only to have Barnabas cut him off with the impatience of someone who has very little time left to “share.”

At least he didn't resort to whacking Willie with his wolfhead cane yet again (nobody, but nobody, could beat their Willie like old Barney!)

Barbara Steele's character is basically a narrative utility here, albeit one lovely to listen to, especially compared to the hoarse (night)whispers of Karlen and Frid.

As Frid spoke, I couldn’t help but picture in my mind the rapidly-aged Barnabas of the FIRST DS feature film, House of Dark Shadows. Which was all the more off putting because his character here doesn’t appear to be late in his mortal life. He speaks of many hopeful things for the future, even tho he sounds for all the world like a man practice-reading his last will and testament.

All in all, it was a thrill to finally hear Jonathan Frid as Barnabas one more time. Though I’ve never felt the full weight of those 40 years quite so much as I did listening to him.

I'm hit even harder today after hearing news of his passing.

Here's my favorite fan-made "trailer" for the original Dark Shadows TV show, set to "Time is Running Out" by Muse:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE2MmEsK7Bg

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Comments
3

I don't think that is a "fan made" trailer... you can clearly see the SciFi logo on the bottom right corner. It's a shame that Frid passed a mere 3 weeks before the opening of the movie... I feel he probably would have been a Guest-of-Honor of some sort at the premiere.

April 20, 2012

It's fan-made, compiling clips from the Sci-Fi channel screenings of the show - that's why the network logo jumps around and zooms in and out, from assembling shots from different episodes and sometimes zooming in and out, to make the motions fit the beats of the music. The same fan posted several other DS vids, but this particular one is (IMHO) the best of the batch!

April 21, 2012

I've been a huge fan of Jonathan's Frid's Barnabas since I was a child. I even wrote a song looking to capture the deep and complex character of Barnabas. Let me know what you think. You can hear that here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jXQ652Q7LM

April 23, 2012

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close