Commonwealth Journal

Columns

May 1, 2012

Long live Barnabas Collins

Somerset —  

If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly chasing that nostalgic feeling that goes along with fond memories from your childhood.
Lately, those have been coming at me in waves.
Last weekend, I sat down with my 3-year-old daughter and watched some old episodes of “Batman,” from the mid-60s. You know, the campy one with Adam West and Burt Ward as “the caped crusaders.”
Pow! Biff! Wop!
Surprisingly, Carly took to the old show like I did when I was 5 or 6, first watching them with my parents eons ago.
It made up for the bit of sadness I experienced last week when I learned that one of my childhood heroes had passed away.
Jonathan Frid, the Canadian actor who originated the role of vampire Barnabas Collins in the 60s gothic horror soap “Dark Shadows” died — on Friday the 13th, of course — at the age of 87.
Ironically, Frid’s death comes at a time when the popularity of “Dark Shadows” has come full circle. Old fans and newbies alike are eagerly anticipating the big budget “Dark Shadows” movie starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas and directed by Tim Burton. It hits theaters on May 11.
I’ve been looking forward to the new, fresh take on the spooky hit show that kept me mesmerized as a child.
Fortunately for all of us kids who used to rush home from school to tune in to “Dark Shadows,” Depp and Burton were just like us. They never missed an episode and it was such a memorable piece of their childhood that it stuck with them into adulthood. So much so that Depp bought the rights to do a movie version when creator Dan Curtis died in 2008.
One of the first things Depp and Burton did as they began filming the feature a little over a year ago was to invite Frid and three other cast members of the original, Lara Parker (the dastardly witch Angelique), Kathryn Leigh Scott (the tortured Josette Collins) and David Selby (the rogue werewolf Quentin) to have cameos in the film.

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