"The character Barnabas was a combination of everything I'd ever done. Well, not everything, but there were 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 enough to get some qualities that these plays need."
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 and 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 for which he is most closely associated, playing Barnabas Collins on the gothic daytime serial Dark Shadows. He describes the production, 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. Lastly, 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 in Burbank, CA on July 21, 2008.