Date of Birth
2 December 1924, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
John Herbert Frid
Jonathan Frid's career in drama began when he first "offered his soul" to the theater as a young boy at a preparatory school in Ontario, Canada. Following his graduation from McMaster University, he attended London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and later earned a Master's Degree in Directing from the Yale School of Drama. Mr. Frid was a leading actor in English and Canadian repertory and went on to work in many of the most celebrated regional theaters in the United States, including the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and the American Shakespeare Festival under the direction of John Houseman, performing with Katharine Hepburn in "Much Ado About Nothing". He has appeared in major roles on-and-off Broadway, in such productions as "Roar Like A Dove", "Murder in the Cathedral" and "Wait Until Dark". But, it was Mr. Frid's portrayal of a complex, conflicted vampire on ABC-TV's daytime drama series "Dark Shadows" (1966) (co-starring with Joan Bennett) and in the subsequent motion picture House of Dark Shadows (1970) that earned him a place as an icon of American popular culture. His other film credits include co-starring roles in The Devil's Daughter (1973) (TV) (with Shelley Winters) and Seizure (1974) (Oliver Stone's directorial debut). In 1986, Mr. Frid joined the Broadway production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" (co-starring with Jean Stapleton). He won critical acclaim for his villainous turn as the homicidal nephew and spent ten months with the play's national tour. That same year, Mr. Frid founded his own production company, "Clunes Associates", to create and tour a series of one-man readers' theater shows across North America. Mr. Frid continues to perform his one-man shows, now under the banner of "Charity Associates", to raise money for a variety of charities.
Served as a seaman in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II.
Working with former "Dark Shadows" (1966) costar Marie Wallace, Jonathan made his directorial debut in February 1993, with the play "Lion in Winter" at the Georgia College Theatre in Milledgeville, Georgia. Marie starred as Eleanor of Aquitaine.
In the early 1990s, he attended a Dark Shadows convention in Burbank.
"I love to play horror for horror's sake. Inner horror...I mean I never thought I created fear with the fang business of "Barnabus". I always felt foolish doing that part of it. The horror part I like was 'the lie'" -- Jonathan Frid, on his "Dark Shadows" (1966) character.