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Supporters seeking immortality for Frid

By Kevin Werner, News Staff

Jonathan Frid lives on.

After a year of disappointment over failing to get Frid — who is best known for his portrayal of Barnabas Collins on the TV show Dark Shadows and lived in Ancaster until his death in 2012 — voted into Canada’s Walk of Fame, a group of women is enthusiastic about his chances of become immortalized this year.

This year Frid’s name appears with other iconic Canadians under the Cineplex Legends Award.

 Also up for consideration are singer Stompin’ Tom Connors, journalist Barbara Frum, actor Corey Haim, musician Jeff Healey, singer Rita MacNeil, actor Al Waxman and actor Lorne Green. The category is for posthumous recognition of Canadian pioneers.“I hope this is the year,” said Cathy Robbins, who lives in Ohio. “He is finally on the list. People are paying attention.”

Robbins said she urged Canada’s Walk of Fame officials last year to place Frid’s name on the website, but they ignored the pleas. The deadline for nominations is April 30. The Walk of Fame celebrations are scheduled for October.

Robbins’ partners, Kathy Colby and Elena Nacanther of  Brooklyn, have created a Facebook page that provides all you need to know about Frid and urges people to vote the actor into the Walk of Fame.

Frid played the brooding, guilt-obsessed 175-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, who dominated the gothic, but high-camp 1960s television show Dark Shadows.

Robbins watched the show at age 14, and never forgot how she became transfixed by Collins. Her attraction to Collins, and later Frid, attracted the attention of the other members of her group who were equally enticed at a young age by the devil-may-care attitude of Frid’s abilities.

Frid’s later acting career was overshadowed by Barnabas Collins. He performed with Katharine Hepburn and Jean Stapleton of All in the Family fame, and in 1986 he toured in the stage play Arsenic and Old Lace.

Frid was born in 1924 into a family who owned the Frid Construction Company. He served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. He graduated from McMaster University, but soon found himself in local theatre. He went to England to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and then attended Yale School of Drama. He spent 40 years in New York before moving to Ancaster in 1994 where he lived in relative peace and comfort. He became a regular at Ancaster’s Coach and Lantern Pub and Sammy’s Restaurant. He died at 87, and had no immediate survivors, although his nephew and family still live in Ancaster.

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