Original ‘Dark Shadows’ TV actress remembers past lives
(Photo: Warner Bros Pictures/Alexandra Isles)
Isles has spoken exclusively to Yahoo! Movies about the new Tim Burton film, based on the wildly popular — for its time -- late sixties-era gothic soap opera on which she once played the female lead. She also discusses the show's leading man, who recently passed away and was honored by new-school "Dark Shadows" lead Johnny Depp.
"We were accidentally camp," cheerfully explains Isles -- then Alexandra Moltke -- who on the original television show, which aired on ABC, played the young Victoria Winters a/k/a Vickie.
Isles admits she hasn't yet seen the film, but judging from the trailer, Burton's update seems "deliberately camp." And she wholeheartedly approves. (I ran this impression past Burton when I spoke with him during an interview the next day. He rejected the term "camp," but admitted he drew out humor from the story. Burton also told me he, Depp and co-star Michelle Pfeiffer were huge fans of the original show.)
(Photo: Everett Collection/Warner Bros. Pictures)
Depp, who worked with Frid on the set of the new film and has said he used to run home from school to catch the show, acknowledged his sadness over Frid's death. In a statement, Depp called Frid "a true original," and went on to say, "His elegance and grace was an inspiration then and will continue to remain one forever more."
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Isles, now 65, remembers Frid as being extremely professional and that his stage-acting roots drove his work ethic. "He was a little reserved, terribly nice, gentlemanly... [He had] a quiet sense of humor," Isles recalls. She also remembers that Frid had trouble with his lines and out of sheer terror would stare into the teleprompter giving a look of yearning. "People misinterpreted that as a different kind of yearning, worry and concern," she says, adding that viewer fan mail reaction to his apparent vulnerability prompted ABC to have his character written as more sympathetic.