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Jonathan Frid Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (8) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 2 December 1924Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Date of Death 13 April 2012Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Birth NameJohn Herbert Frid

Mini Bio (1)

Jonathan Frid's career in drama began when he first "offered his soul" to the theater as a young boy at a preparatory school in Ontario, Canada. Following his graduation from McMaster University, he attended London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and later earned a Master's Degree in Directing from the Yale School of Drama. Mr. Frid was a leading actor in English and Canadian repertory and went on to work in many of the most celebrated regional theaters in the United States, including the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and the American Shakespeare Festival under the direction of John Houseman, performing with Katharine Hepburn in "Much Ado About Nothing". He has appeared in major roles on-and-off Broadway, in such productions as "Roar Like A Dove", "Murder in the Cathedral" and "Wait Until Dark". But, it was Mr. Frid's portrayal of a complex, conflicted vampire on ABC-TV's daytime drama series Dark Shadows (1966) (co-starring with Joan Bennett) and in the subsequent motion picture House of Dark Shadows (1970) that earned him a place as an icon of American popular culture. His other film credits include co-starring roles in The Devil's Daughter (1973) (with Shelley Winters) and Seizure (1974) (Oliver Stone's directorial debut). In 1986, Mr. Frid joined the Broadway production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" (co-starring with Jean Stapleton). He won critical acclaim for his villainous turn as the homicidal nephew and spent ten months with the play's national tour. That same year, Mr. Frid founded his own production company, "Clunes Associates", to create and tour a series of one-man readers' theater shows across North America. Mr. Frid continues to perform his one-man shows, now under the banner of "Charity Associates", to raise money for a variety of charities. Combining the arts of his voice and his zest for entertaining", as one critic put it. In June of 2000, Mr. Frid returned to the traditional professional stage in the play "Mass Appeal" at the Stirling Festival Theatre in Stirling, Ontario.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: kersey@jonathanfrid.com

Trivia (8)

Served as a seaman in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II.
Working with former Dark Shadows (1966) costar Marie Wallace, Jonathan made his directorial debut in February 1993, with the play "Lion in Winter" at the Georgia College Theatre in Milledgeville, Georgia. Marie starred as Eleanor of Aquitaine.
In the early 1990s, he moved to the town of Ancaster, Ontario, not far from his birthplace of Hamilton. In July 2008, he attended a Dark Shadows convention in Burbank.
Never married, believing the life of an actor was fraught with insecurities.
Died less than one month before the opening of "Dark Shadows" (2012), the theatrical film version of his acclaimed TV series. Frid has a cameo in the movie version. It was Frid's last acting role.
Retired: producing his own website and occasionally making appearances for charity [February 2003]
Currently semi-retired, living in Ancaster, Ontario, not far from his birthplace of Hamilton and McMaster University where he was educated. Is continuing to attend Dark Shadows conventions each year, as long as his health lasts. He will turn 85 this year.
Made his first appearance at a Dark Shadows convention in over a decade, the well-attended Tarrytown, NY event centering around his return. [August 2007]

Personal Quotes (2)

"I love to play horror for horror's sake. Inner horror...I mean I never thought I created fear with the fang business of "Barnabus". I always felt foolish doing that part of it. The horror part I like was 'the lie'" -- Jonathan Frid, on his Dark Shadows (1966) character.
It was the particular qualities of playing the character Barnabas Collins that I enjoyed, not simply portraying a vampire. As an actor, I have certain instincts and I put them to work. Contrasting qualities are important in any role and can be brought out even when no such qualities are indicated in the script. I think it's necessary to create a positive and negative force within a particular character. I love to totally submerge myself into a character, rather than simply duplicating my own self. It was the constant changing, the opportunity of going back and forth, from good to evil, that was so thrilling.

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