10:45 am EDT, April 23, 2012

Johnny Depp pays tribute to original ‘Dark Shadows’ star Jonathan Frid

By Lucien

Johnny Depp has released a statement about one of his childhood heroes, the actor Jonathan Frid. Jonathan Frid was 87 when he died of natural causes in his home town Ontario, Canada this week.

The Canadian actor is best known for the part of Barnabas Collins, the lead in a popular American gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, which ran from 1966-71.

Johnny Depp, who plays the part of Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton’s new remake of Dark Shadows due out next month, released a statement today about his sadness at the loss of a “true original.”

“Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch Dark Shadows,” the actor said in a statement.

“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.” Frid has a cameo role in the new movie, which also stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller and Helena Bonham Carter. Frid meets Depp’s character in a party scene with two other original actors from the show.

Jim Pierson, a friend and spokesman for Dan Curtis Productions, the creator of the original Dark Shadows, announced the actor’s death. “Twenty million people saw the show at its peak in 1969. Kids ran home from school and housewives watched it. It had a huge pop culture impact,” he said.

Frid had been an accomplished stage actor before Dark Shadows made him famous. The show has lived on in reruns. Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows will be released May 11 and is rated PG-13.

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