Sunday, July 6, 2014

DARK SHADOWS producer Robert Costello (1921 - 2014)

The East Hampton Star is reporting that Robert Costello, one of the original producers of DARK SHADOWS, passed away on May 30 after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 93.

Though Costello worked behind the scenes on DARK SHADOWS, he inadvertently made a lasting impact on one of the show's most recognizable fashion choices: The "Napoleon" haircut of vampire Barnabas Collins.

Jonathan Frid and Robert Costello on the set of DARK SHADOWS.
"Since Bob Cosello himself admitted to this last year when he was here, I guess I'm not saying anything behind his back," actor Jonathan Frid told the audience at the 1985 Dark Shadows Festival in New Jersey. "He had to pose for that portrait in the hall because they had to have it ready before they even got the actor for Barnabas. They had to have everything done but the face, so as soon as they got the actor they could put in the face. So Bob posed for it, and he sort of doesn't have too much hair, and what hair he has he pulled across his forehead into bangs. We often kidded him about it. That's how I ended up having the bangs. It became, of course, one of the trademarks of the character."

It's weird to think that, decades later, Johnny Depp wound up wearing a variation of this hairstyle in the DARK SHADOWS feature film because of an off-hand creative decision made in 1967 ... weeks before the role of Barnabas Collins was even cast. You can see Costello discuss his years with DARK SHADOWS in a 1998 interview with the Archive of American Television in the above video.

Prior to DARK SHADOWS, Costello was a producer for THE PATTY DUKE SHOW. After working on more than 800 episodes of DARK SHADOWS, he went on to produce the daytime drama THE SECRET STORM, which featured a number of DARK SHADOWS cast members, as well as Canadian knock-off STRANGE PARADISE. He won a Peabody Award for the PBS series THE ADAMS CHRONICLES and two Daytime Emmy awards in 1976 and 1978 for his work on RYAN'S HOPE.

1 comment:

anonymous said...

Remarkable career. His video interviews are great to have. But I would have liked to have had a more recent one. And I've never seen an interview with Sybil Weinberger and am most curious as to her daunting task of applying the music into an episode in realtime. Quite challenging.

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