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Jonathan Frid, Dark Shadows Star Before Johnny Depp, Dies on Eve of New Film's Release

Jonathan Frid, Dark Shadows ABC

Eerie timing in the death of a famed TV vampire.

Jonathan Frid, who starred as the 200-year-old Barnabas Collins in the daytime soap Dark Shadows, has passed away just weeks before the big-screen Johnny Depp-Tim Burton version is set to open.

Frid succumbed to unspecified natural causes last week—on Friday the 13th, the Los Angeles Times noted, to be precise.

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Frid was 87, and died at a hospital in his native Ontario, Canada, his hometown Hamilton Spectator reported. Word of his death became widely known only just today.

A veteran stage actor, Frid became an unlikely hearttrob in his mid-40s as the creepy, some-would-say seductive Barnabas on Dark Shadows, which ran from 1966 to 1971. He costarred in the show's 1970 movie version, House of Dark Shadows.

Frid has a role in the Depp-Burton redo, which is due to bow May 11.

Depp, who steps into Barnabas' cape for the film, has long been an unabashed fan of TV's Dark Shadows—and especially of Frid.

The actor, Depp said recently, "was such a striking presence."

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