The legendary JONATHAN FRID who created the role of BARNABAS COLLINS on TV’s long running DARK SHADOWS is dead at 87.

Frid passed away on April 13 from natural causes at Juravinski Hospital in Ontario, Canada.

Frid who created a sensation when he first appeared in the seminal gothic horror soap spawning a rabid fan base that suddenly thrust the daytime soaper into national prominence as both girls and boys followed the daily adventures of the tormented bloodsucker and the Collins family.

Frid’s Barnabas set the stage for all the vampire portrayals to follow- reinventing the character as a reluctant vampire, one who sought to rid himself of his curse. The modern TV soap version is the CW's hit "The Vampire Diaries".

Frid makes a cameo in the new "Dark Shadows" feature film and it was fittingly his final screen role.

In addition to the original “House of Dark Shadows” feature film directed by Dan Curtis, Frid, a Shakespearean thesp, appeared in “The Devil’s Daughter” and “Seizure”.

Frid also appeared on Broadway in a revival of "Arsenic and Old Lace" along with TV vets Larry Storch and Jean Stapleton in 1986.

Frid's former Dark Shadows  co-star Kathryn Leigh Scott paid tribute on her official website, writing, "I am so grateful to have worked with Jonathan and to have known him as the charismatic, entertaining, complex and plain spoken man that he was. What fun we had working together!

"He was irascible, irreverent, funny, caring, lovable and thoroughly professional, and in the end became the whole reason why kids ran home from school to watch Dark Shadows."

While Frid may be gone, HIS Barnabas remains immortal – burned forever into our national consciousness.