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'Dark Shadows' Star Jonathan Frid Dies At 87

Kevin Blair Kevin Blair
April 19th, 2012 10:27pm EDT

Dark Shadows

The star of cult vampire soap opera Dark Shadows has died at age 87.

Actor Jonathan Frid passed away - ironically and fittingly - on Friday, April 13. The star died of natural causes at Juravinski Hospital in Ontario, Canada.

Frid was best known for playing the vampire Barnabus Collins on the 60s show, the same role that Johnny Depp plays in the upcoming movie adaptation, directed by frequent Depp collaborator Tim Burton.

"Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch Dark Shadows," Depp said in a statement to E! News.

"His elegance and grace was an inspiration then and will continue to remain one forever more. 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 makes a cameo appearance in the film - his final screen appearance.

The late star's former Dark Shadows co-star Kathryn Leigh Scott paid tribute via her official website.

"I am so grateful to have worked with Jonathan and to have known him as the charismatic, entertaining, complex and plain spoken man that he was," she writes. "What fun we had working together! He was irascible, irreverent, funny, caring, lovable and thoroughly professional, and in the end became the whole reason why kids ran home from school to watch Dark Shadows."

Dark Shadows opens in theaters May 11.

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Photo Credits: MPI Home Video