Jonathan Frid

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In his nearly two-hour Archive interview, Jonathan Frid (1924-2012) recalls how he discovered his voice in school plays and outlines his training as an actor, including his studies at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and Yale School of Drama. He talks about his many years as a professional theater actor, his early work in television on the CBC, and a short stint on the daytime serial As the World Turns. He speaks in great detail about the role and series with which he is most closely associated, playing "Barnabas Collins" on the gothic daytime serial Dark Shadows. Frid describes the production of the show, gives his impressions of his co-stars, and comments on the show's legacy. He also talks about working with such behind-the-scenes personnel as director Lela Swift and make-up artist Dick Smith. Finally, he speaks about his later theater work, such as a revival of "Arsenic and Old Lace" and his directorial debut with a production of "The Lion in Winter." Jim Pierson conducted the interview on July 21, 2008 in Burbank, CA.

"The character 'Barnabas' was a combination of everything I'd ever done. Well, not everything, but there was enough of that kind of role that I'd played in. Most people think it was because of my Shakespeare. I didn't play that much Shakespeare, but enough to get some qualities that these plays need."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Jonathan Frid on his early television work on CBC, and on appearing on As the World Turns
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his childhood interest in theater and acting, and on his training
On his experience during World War II; on his college education; on getting his Masters in directing at Yale University

Chapter 2

On his early television work on CBC, and on appearing on As the World Turns; on getting cast as "Barnabas Collins" on Dark Shadows; on the premise of Dark Shadows
On his Dark Shadows character "Barnabas Collins"; on the directors of Dark Shadows; on performing Dark Shadows live on tape
On the look of his Dark Shadows character "Barnabas Collins," and on the show switching back and forth in time; on where Dark Shadows was shot, and on a typical tape day

Chapter 3

On the logistics of taping Dark Shadows; on working with the cast of Dark Shadows
On the popularity and fan base of Dark Shadows and of his character "Barnabas Collins"; on promoting Dark Shadows by making personal appearances, and on the appeal of "Barnabas Collins"; on playing "Bramwell Collins" on the show, and on the cult following the series has developed

Chapter 4

On various post-Dark Shadows projects; on forming his own company, Clunes Associates, to produce one-man shows, and on directing theater
On being involved with the 40th anniversary of Dark Shadows; on advice to an aspiring actor; on how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

As the World Turns

View Show Page
Jonathan Frid on his early television work on CBC, and on appearing on As the World Turns

Dark Shadows

View Show Page
Jonathan Frid on getting cast as "Barnabas Collins" Dark Shadows
Jonathan Frid on the premise of Dark Shadows
Jonathan Frid on his Dark Shadows character "Barnabas Collins"
Jonathan Frid on his approach to playing "Barnabas Collins" on Dark Shadows
Jonathan Frid on on the directors of Dark Shadows
Jonathan Frid on performing Dark Shadows live on tape
Jonathan Frid on the look of his Dark Shadows character "Barnabas Collins," and on the show switching back and forth in time
Jonathan Frid on where Dark Shadows was shot, and on a typical tape day
Jonathan Frid on the logistics of taping Dark Shadows
Jonathan Frid on working with the cast of Dark Shadows
Jonathan Frid on working with Louis Edmonds and other cast members on Dark Shadows
Jonathan Frid on the popularity and fan base of Dark Shadows and of his character "Barnabas Collins"
Jonathan Frid on promoting Dark Shadows by making personal appearances, and on the appeal of "Barnabas Collins"
Jonathan Frid on not playing "Barnabas Collins" as a vampire on Dark Shadows
Jonathan Frid on playing "Bramwell Collins" on Dark Shadows, and on the cult following the series has developed
Jonathan Frid on being involved with the 40th anniversary of Dark Shadows
Topics

Advice

View Topic
Jonathan Frid on advice to an aspiring actor

Characters & Catchphrases

View Topic
Jonathan Frid on his Dark Shadows character "Barnabas Collins"

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Jonathan Frid on his experience during World War II

Pop Culture

View Topic
Jonathan Frid on his Dark Shadows character "Barnabas Collins"

Television Industry

View Topic
Jonathan Frid on advice to an aspiring actor

War

View Topic
Jonathan Frid on his experience during World War II

World War II

View Topic
Jonathan Frid on his experience during World War II
Professions

Actor

View Profession
Jonathan Frid on advice to an aspiring actor

Performers

View Profession
Jonathan Frid on advice to an aspiring actor
Genres

Daytime/Primetime Serials

View Genre
Jonathan Frid on playing "Barnabas Collins" Dark Shadows
Jonathan Frid on playing "Barnabas Collins" on Dark Shadows
People

Joan Bennett

View Person Page
Jonathan Frid on working with the cast of Dark Shadows: Joan Bennett

Kate Jackson

View Person Page
Jonathan Frid on working with Louis Edmonds, and other cast members on Dark Shadows: Kate Jackson

All Interviews

Q
S