Jonathan Frid

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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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."

Highlights
Jonathan Frid on his early television work on CBC, and on appearing on As the World Turns
04:12
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

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Jonathan Frid on his early television work on CBC, and on appearing on As the World Turns
04:12

Dark Shadows

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Jonathan Frid on getting cast as "Barnabas Collins" Dark Shadows
05:18
Jonathan Frid on the premise of Dark Shadows
01:48
Jonathan Frid on his Dark Shadows character "Barnabas Collins"
03:01
Jonathan Frid on his approach to playing "Barnabas Collins" on Dark Shadows
02:10
Jonathan Frid on on the directors of Dark Shadows
01:56
Jonathan Frid on performing Dark Shadows live on tape
02:10
Jonathan Frid on the look of his Dark Shadows character "Barnabas Collins," and on the show switching back and forth in time
06:26
Jonathan Frid on where Dark Shadows was shot, and on a typical tape day
03:28
Jonathan Frid on the logistics of taping Dark Shadows
02:41
Jonathan Frid on working with the cast of Dark Shadows
03:38
Jonathan Frid on working with Louis Edmonds and other cast members on Dark Shadows
05:35
Jonathan Frid on the popularity and fan base of Dark Shadows and of his character "Barnabas Collins"
07:03
Jonathan Frid on promoting Dark Shadows by making personal appearances, and on the appeal of "Barnabas Collins"
04:19
Jonathan Frid on not playing "Barnabas Collins" as a vampire on Dark Shadows
03:15
Jonathan Frid on playing "Bramwell Collins" on Dark Shadows, and on the cult following the series has developed
02:34
Jonathan Frid on being involved with the 40th anniversary of Dark Shadows
03:22
Topics

Advice

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Jonathan Frid on advice to an aspiring actor
00:33

Characters & Catchphrases

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Jonathan Frid on his Dark Shadows character "Barnabas Collins"
02:58

Historic Events and Social Change

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Jonathan Frid on his experience during World War II
05:22

Pop Culture

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Jonathan Frid on his Dark Shadows character "Barnabas Collins"
02:58

Television Industry

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Jonathan Frid on advice to an aspiring actor
00:33

War

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Jonathan Frid on his experience during World War II
05:22

World War II

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Jonathan Frid on his experience during World War II
05:22
Professions

Actor

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Jonathan Frid on advice to an aspiring actor
00:33

Performers

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Jonathan Frid on advice to an aspiring actor
00:33
Genres

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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Jonathan Frid on playing "Barnabas Collins" Dark Shadows
26:28
Jonathan Frid on playing "Barnabas Collins" on Dark Shadows
29:23
People

Joan Bennett

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Jonathan Frid on working with the cast of Dark Shadows: Joan Bennett
03:38

Kate Jackson

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Jonathan Frid on working with Louis Edmonds, and other cast members on Dark Shadows: Kate Jackson
05:35

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