Jonathan Frid, Dark Shadows, Johnny Depp

Warner Bros. Pictures/ABC

Johnny Depp knows he has a lot to live up to when Dark Shadows hits theaters on May 11.

He took time out today to pay his respects to Jonathan Frid, the original Barnabas Collins from the Dark Shadows TV series, who died on April 13.

That was Friday the 13th, to be exact.

Depp called his predecessor, who has a cameo in Tim Burton's upcoming film, an "inspiration."

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

Kathryn Leigh Scott, who also starred on the original series and has a cameo in the film, wrote on her website that she is grateful to have known Frid as the "charismatic, entertaining, complex and plain-spoken man that he was."

"I won't ever forget the moment when the two Barnabas Collinses met, one in his late 80s and the other in his mid-40s, each with their wolf's head canes," she says of the day Frid met Depp on set.

"Jonathan took his time scrutinizing his successor's appearance. 'I see you've done the hair,' Jonathan said to Johnny Depp, 'but a few more spikes.' Depp, entirely in character, replied, 'Yes, we're doing things a bit differently.'"

Critics will weigh in on the new Dark Shadows, of course—but it may be the longtime Frid fans who have the last word on how well Depp and Burton honors the original Barnabas.

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