Thursday, April 19, 2012

Jonathan Frid, who played Barnabas Collins in ’Dark Shadows’ show, dead at 87

Jonathan Frid, who played Barnabas Collins in ’Dark Shadows’ show, dead at 87

I was planning to create a post about Dark Shadows and Barnabas Collins, when I read of Jonathan Frid's passing.

My post was going to be called, "WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH BARNABAS COLLINS' HAIR?" It was a in-joke perpetrated by Dark Shadows creator and executive producer Dan Curtis on line producer Robert Costello. Originally, Barnabas was not a character on the show, he was added in 1967 when the show was on the verge of being cancelled. However, the famous painting of Barnabas was always in the foyer of Collinwood (That is it in the above photo behind Frid), there just wasn't any features on the face except for the distinctive hair style.

When the before the show went on the air, it was decided that portraits would be hanging around Collinwood of various Collins ancestors. Staff members posed for the portraits, but the faces were not filled in because they wouldn't be show up on camera.

Robert Costello posed for the foyer portrait of a man holding a fancy walking cane with a large onyx ring on his finger. Dan Curtis gave the artist painting the portrait extra money to paint the hair on the man to look like Robert Costello's bad toupee.

When the Barnabas character was to be introduced, it was decided that the portrait in the foyer was of him. They added Jonathan Frid's facial features, but unfortunately the Barnabas character would be stuck with having hair that looked like a bad toupee. Now, Johnny Depp will be sporting the hair that looks like Robert Costello's bad toupee.


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