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Johnny Depp: 'Dark Shadows star Frid was my inspiration'

Johnny Depp has paid tribute to his Dark Shadows predecessor Jonathan Frid following his death last week (13Apr12), calling him "a true original".

The cult star, who played vampire Barnabas Collins in the 1960s supernatural TV series, died from natural causes in Ontario, Canada on 13 April (12).

Depp, who takes over Frid's role in Tim Burton's upcoming Dark Shadows movie revamp, has hailed the late actor as his childhood hero, recalling how Frid was a consummate gentleman when they finally met.

A statement from Depp reads, "Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch Dark Shadows. His elegance and grace was an inspiration then and will continue to remain one forever more.

"When I had the honour to finally meet him, as he so generously passed the torch of Barnabas to me, he was as elegant and magical as I had always imagined. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. The world has lost a true original."

Frid filmed a cameo appearance in Burton's forthcoming adaptation, marking his final onscreen role.