Monday, February 11, 2019

Remembering Jonathan Frid is a worthy a tribute


I didn't have much to say about Remembering Jonathan Frid when it was released back in 2014. I quite liked the book but felt my opinion was beside the point. It's a collection of essays about a notoriously secretive man written by some of the people who knew him best. There was nothing for me to bring to the conversation, and it was enough for me to just point people toward the book whenever possible. It's essential reading for any Dark Shadows fan.

With time, though, my perspective on Remembering Jonathan Frid has deepened. I've spent the years subsequent to its publishing rummaging through magazine, newspaper and television interviews with Frid, leading me to this conclusion: He wasn't that secretive a person. No, he wasn't interested in having Dark Shadows fans ring his telephone at all hours, and he had an understandably complicated relationship with the series. Having read decades worth of interviews with him, though, he has always maintained a truth that fans refuse to accept: Jonathan Frid was not Barnabas Collins. In fact, he wasn't even especially secretive.

Frid was an even-tempered man who simply didn't much care that much if anyone else shared his interests. Complicating things was the predictable nature of journalists, who tended to harp on the same topics during his interviews. It didn't matter if it was 1969 or 1992, the questions were almost always the same. After a while his participation in interviews was hardly even necessary.

Which is why Remembering Jonathan Frid is so absolutely necessary. In it, his friends and family recount stories about the actor that no reporter would have thought to ask. And, coming from so many perspectives, it presents a multi-faced humanity about its subject that might never have emerged had it been the work of a single author. It's as worthy a tribute as anyone deserves and you should be so fortunate as to have these kinds of friends.

If you haven't read it yet, you can find in in paperback on Amazon. It only gets better with age.


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