Jonathan Frid, who so memorably played vampire Barnabas Collins in the daytime soap Dark Shadows, has passed, leaving behind a personal life as cloaked as Barnabas himself.
After all, as it says on imdb.com, Frid was “never married, believing the life of an actor was fraught with insecurities.”
And as my friend William Love–a true-blue Dark Shadows aficionado–remembers, Frid withdrew whenever personal questions were asked.
Frid’s familiar line about his character was: “I don’t play a vampire. I play a man with a secret.”
That seemed to apply in real life, too.
Frid always came off like a fey cross between Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe, but his culty female fans through the years always argued “He loves women!” or “He’s asexual. He doesn’t believe in having sex!”
And there was the hot guy William knows who once approached Frid as a fan, only to have the actor coo, “Let’s talk about you.”
(Another male I know claims Frid once chased him for sex, but the guy tends to have a vivid imagination, so take it with a grain of vampire dust.)
Anyway, did Frid leave the earth out of sheer excitement over the upcoming Dark Shadows movie he appears in–which looks like it’s been turned into a pumped-up fish-out-of-water comedy–or was he dodging a bullet?
We’ll never know.
We’ll never know a lot of things.
Update: But from the info above, combined with the insider comments gleaned as a result of this blog, we do know: Yep, he was gay!
PS: Thanks to Glenn Queen for finding this amazing shot.
And thanks to William for this one: