Friday, March 1, 2019

Jonathan Frid at Marine World, 1969

Halloween was a hectic season for Jonathan Frid in 1969. Things were so busy that the shooting schedule presumably had to be shuffled to account for Frid's many public appearances. Frid was absent from the ABC studios from Oct. 23 until Oct. 27, during which time a half-dozen members of the cast reported to work on Oct. 26 -- a Sunday -- to tape episode 878. This was the week the 1897 storyline was winding down just as the Leviathans were beginning to make their presence known. During this week Frid found time to make an appearance at the White House on Halloween, but spent the previous weekend entertaining fans at Marine World in Redwood City, California.

We've got a lot of documentary evidence of Frid's visit to Marine World, but I've yet to get my hands on any photos from the event. Marcia Mornay, a reader participating in the Collinsport Historical Society's new Facebook discussion group, the Drawing Room, shared the newspaper clipping above and spoke a little about attending the event. "By some miracle, we got Sunday's paper a day early, and I just about turned inside out when I saw this article," she said. "Jonathan Frid was appearing LOCALLY the very next day. I couldn't believe it, and even though it meant taking a Greyhound then walking a mile to reach the venue, it was so worth it. When Jonathan appeared, he walked right into the section where I was seated and sat all of 4 rows in front of me. I was in sections, as you can imagine. He looked natty and handsome in a dark blue suit."

Below is a transcipt from that newspaper story from The San Francisco Examiner. Unfortunately, the newspaper didn't follow up with any coverage of the actual event. If you've got photos from Frid's Marine World appearance, we'd love to see them! (Note: Yes, I know the newspaper spelled "Barnabas" incorrectly.)

A Malignant Bloodsucker Flapping in the Night

(No byline)
Oct. 26, 1969
The San Francisco Examiner

A crumbling mansion hangs threateningly on a high rocky sea cliff. The time is midnight, the moon is full but hidden by clouds, and the wind is howling.

A very timely Halloween scene? It could be, but it could also be the working place for an actor named Jonathan Frid. Frid portrays Barnabus Collins, a 175- year-old vampire on ABC's "Dark Shadows." Frid occupies the crypts and coffins of Collinwood, the decaying mansion that symbolizes "Dark Shadows."

As Lord of Collinwood, Frid has become a favorite of millions of teenagers and housewives. So much so that he is showered with fan mail at the rate of 1,500 letters a week, with this figure jumping to 4000 letters in peak periods. And what do fans tell their sinister hero? Typical is a letter from a Carmichael, California, housewife who wrote, "Your eloquence, mystery, and magnetism epitomize all that 'Dark Shadows' stands for. In your matchless and intangible way, you have managed to
captivate the hearts of many women -- including mine. You come across the television screen like a brilliant star and there is no escape from the burning light you create! In simple words, you could bite me any time, for I would not be able to resist your fatal charms!"

The object of this adoration is a Shakespearean actor by training. Frid was born and raised in Canada. After service with the Canadian Navy during World War Il he went to England and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Later he toured England with repertory companies in Kent and Cornwall. Returning to the U.S. Frid appeared with many of the top Shakespearean companies in this country and Canada.

In 1957 he received a master's degree in directing from the Yale University Drama School.

Bachelor Frid's appe arance on "Dark Shadows," which is seen Monday through Friday at 4 p.m. on
Channel 7, was originally planned for a brief three weeks. Viewer response has since assured him of a long and prominent role in the series.

Today, Frid will make a personal appearance in the Bay Area. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., he will entertain children and be available for autographs at the multi-million dollar o ce a nic recreation
center, ABC Marine, World, in Redwood City.

During his appearance at Marine World, Frid will join the cast of the spectacular water show presentation. In other personal appearances across the nation the vampire actor has drawn more than 20,000 people per appearance and on several occasions exceeded 50,000 people.

No one has a better time with the creation of "Dark Shadows" than Frid. The unique daily drama also
stars stage and screen personality Joan Bennett. The two performers reign over a mysterious Maine mansion where the action takes place not only in the present but often in the past. Collinwood is a place where all time js capable of coming together in terror filled suspense.

What is Frid's reaction to the tremendous stir he has created with his portrayal of vampire Barnabus Collins?

"It's simply ghoulish," he says with a sinister smile. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...