'Dark Shadows' Star Jonathan Frid Dies

Getty Images

'Dark Shadows' Star Jonathan Frid Dies

Jonathan Frid, the Canadian actor who originated the role of vampire Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows, has died just a few weeks before the release of the big-screen version of the late '60s soap. He was 87.

Video: Johnny Depp Takes a Bite out of 'Dark Shadows'

Frid died on none other than Friday the 13th, according his Dark Shadows co-star Kathryn Leigh Scott, who told TheWrap that the star passed away in a hospital following a fall at his home near Toronto. His family had not wanted to release the news earlier.

The classically trained Frid cut his teeth in live theater in Canada, England and the United States; following Dark Shadows, he appeared in the TV movie The Devil's Daughter and in Oliver Stone's directorial debut, Seizure, then returned to the stage, with work that included a Broadway revival of Arsenic and Old Lace and many one-man shows for charity.

Gallery: Immortal Invasion: Sexiest Vampires on TV

Johnny Depp takes a bite out of the role of Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton's version of the supernatural soap opera that ran on ABC from 1966-1971. Frid and Scott and a few other cast mates traveled to England last summer to shoot cameos for the film, according to TheWrap. Dark Shadows creeps into theaters May 11.

In a 2011 MTV interview, Depp praised Frid's take on the Barnabas character, saying, "What Jonathan Frid did with that character and that classic, iconic look he created, I find it very difficult to stray very far from that. ... There's something about the idea of this vampire coming back after 200 years into this modern world, with a touch of the poetic ... I have a good feeling about it. But Jonathan Frid's Barnabas was so special."