Who Was Gay In The Original "Dark Shadows" TV Series?
Any of the actors?
Most of the male cast. Straight: John Karlen, Robert Rodan, James Storm, Roger Davis. David Selby may be bi.
Barnabas sucked a mean dick.
Of course, it looked like a flute afterwards.
Joel Crothers was gay, sadly died from AIDS in the 1980's I think.
But seriously folks, Frid is a fairy.
The easier question would be, who wasn't gay on the Dark Shadows original series. Dark Shadows and Edge of Night were two of gayest sets in NYC in the 60s and 70s and that is saying a lot.
Keith Prentice, who was also in "The Boys in the Band". Died of AIDS in the early 90s.
Oh honey that show was so gay the shadows were pink.
Roger Davis was a notorious pussy hound and very abrasive. None of the actresses wanted to be paired romantically with him. When Alexandra Moltke left, they were going to pair him with Katherine Leigh Scott. She threatened to quit if that happened. Joan Bennett wrote some negative things about him in her autobiography. Many of the other actors were gay. Love this homoerotic scene between two flaming gay actors trying to stay in character as their hetero characters. Talk about gay subtext.
Louie Edmonds, later Langley on AMC was gay. In an interview Ruth Warrick was asked if they were an item off-camera, she said "No, he's with someone else."
Louis Edmonds was the very definition of a "dandy," and I loved him. So unapologetically flamboyant. His Hamptons home The Rookery became the spot of grand parties attended by his close Shadows and AMC colleagues.
Humbert Allen Astredo
The biggest mystery how a little queen like David Henesy grew up to be straight.
Surprisingly, NOT the child actor who played little David Collins.
Also that queen Michael Stroka who played Aristede (and later Dixie Carter's brother Quention on Edge) was straight as well. He just totally camped it up...hard to believe he was not into cock.
Who is the queen with Frid in that video scene?
That's Anthony George, who was a huge queen. He was the second actor to play Burke Devlin after Mitch Ryan (the father on "Dharma & Greg") was canned after constantly coming to work drunk and forgetting his lines.
WHET David Henesy?
It seems he never appeared at any of the conventions.
WHET to Geoffrey Scott?
God,he was so handsome...
R12, I don't believe Thayer David was gay.
R19 - are you blind or headless?
Anthony George left "Search for Tomorrow" so he could return to California to be with longtime partner, Earl Holliman.
Do you think David Hennesy got religion so he decided to be straight?
Is Jerry Lacy gay?
I loved Louis Edmunds. He was my favorite character.
Jerry Lacy and Geoffrey Scott are not gay. Jerry is married to Julia Duffy. Scott was married at the time he was on Dynasty. Brian Sturdivant was a boy toy of Jonathan's at the time he was cast on DS - he played Claude North. God did he overact!!!
Not gay - Mitch Ryan, Dennis Patrick, John Karlen, David Selby, Chris Pennock, Robert Rodan, David Henesey, Roger Davis. There has been a rumour about Don Briscoe being gang raped during his run on DS and that he sent him into an LSD freak out that cost him his job and career. Anyone able to elaborate more on that?
Heard that story about Briscoe from several sources so there's likely to be some truth in it. But he was probably doing LSD before that.
Tony George later went to ONE LIFE TO LIVE where he was notorious for hitting on the newest young men on the show.
Geoffrey Scott may have been married (never an indication of being straight, see: Travolta, John) but everyone in Hollywood and New York knows about Scott and his men.
Frid also had a relationship with Keith Prentice, who played Morgan during the show's final weeks. Prentice's imdb is pretty much three credits: Dark Shadows, the Boys in the Band and Cruising.
I didn't know Chris Pennock was on Dark Shadows! I remember him as Senator Mitch Williams on General Hospital, and fucking around with Susan Moore, "hostess" at The Floating Rib. (Poor Susan. We all knew you were a glorified whore.)
I'm not past the 1968 episodes. Did they ever get a new Vicky or did she just leave the show.
I love the actor who played Willy (John Karlen?).
They tried two different Victorias, but neight worked out and the character was written off. From what I've read Alexandre Moltke would have returned if they would have written another character for her in addition to Miss Winters. She was tired of playing 'Victimy Vickie'.
Thanks, I just knew one of the actors said he suggested Jacquiline Smith from Charlie's Angels. I might have the name wrong, anyway she didn't want to do a soap.
Any links to sources for the Don Briscoe rape story?
They did want to hire Jaclyn Smith as an Alexandra Moltke replacement. Nancy Barrett said that everyone liked her but her test was "awful". Her inexperience might not have been a hindrance but her thick Texas accent was.
Jaclyn Smith was Roger Davis' girlfriend at the time and was known as Ellen at the time. That's how she came to be known to the DS cast. Of course, years later she and Kate Jackson were together on Charlie's Angels, and Kate had worked with Roger (never on DS) for some ABC tv movie. Someone on another DS thread suggested Lara Parker had an affair with Davis and that turned Smith off of Parker, even though Parker and Jackson had remained friends from their DS days. So Parker was never hired to act on DS (though famously she did act in SWAT with Farrah Fawcett Majors) because Jackie vetoed her.
Barnabas(Jonathan Frid)is gay?
I see he's still alive and has his own website.
Love this pic of Louis Edmonds and Jonathan Frid in bathing trunks at the beach-
That photo must have been taken at Big Lou's house in Cherry Grove. In his memoirs he talks about it a lot - it was his "haven".
R31 - you'll also recognize John Karlen from his years on "Cagney & Lacey" as Tyne Daly's husband.
Roger Davis wasn't the only married actor on the show cheating with a costar! James Storm and Kate Jackson were a couple until the the second movie started filming right after the TV show ended. Then Kate and David Selby really began to act out their love scenes offscreen as well! James as heartbroken, and David's marriage nearly ended. Fortunately the affair cooled off and David and his wife reconciled, and had two daughters within the next few years, along with the son born during the show's run. They're still together today, after over 50 years! Series writer Sam Hall (Grayson's husband) talked about the affair (without actually naming Kate as the other woman) in an online interview last year, and said that Grayson encouraged the whole thing.
Louis Edmonds used to call Darnell Williams (All My Children) 'Danielle' to his face.
I wonder why?
I'm up to episode 800 and all these many people said here to be gay, the ones I've seen so far, don't have an effeminate manner as far as I can tell. ... If it's true they were gay I suppose a big factor in getting casted was that they seemed hetero.
Were there behind the scenes people at DS known to be gay...people who had influence on actor selection?
The women. Any of them gay? It's common wisdom that male actors are disproportionately gay. Is that true also of women actors?
Loved Darnell. Did Dark Shadows ever have a black cast member...I know, no black people in Maine. When they wanted some, they actually had to ship them in from the Congo.
r.44, really???? Do you realize how insulting you are? All the gay actors mentioned here don't have effeminate manners????? What year do you live in??
r46 No insult intended.
R45 I'm only into the 800's but I remember there was a black nurse. I can't recall the scene but she stood up to somebody trying to get into the hospital room for some nefarious purpose or other.
r45 There was a black nurse I remember.
Does anyone know what David Selby is up to these days?
The last time I remember seeing him was as the lawyer in The Social Network.
Loved him in Falcon Crest.
How about David Ford, who played Maggie's artist bear daddy (also John Hancock in "1776")?
Nope, believe it or not, David Ford was married to Nancy Barrett who played Carolyn.
Thank you, r52! I guess it was one of those false pings Jewish men give off.
I ask because I've just been watching the early DS episodes where Barnabas Collins is introduced and is absorbed in redecorating the Old House and getting the placing of Josette's hairbrush just right on her vanity and refurbishing her wedding dress and raping Willie Loomis into submission I mean beating him with his wolf-headed cane.
I thought maybe Don Briscoe died if aids, which makes no sense because he died in 2004.
No, poor Don passed away from heart disease. He was bipolar and had various mental issues that were complicated from drug abuse. He never attended any Dark Shadows events. He was much too fragile.
David Selby is better looking now, then he was when he was young. He really is a very handsome man. I never say that about old guys...few of us age well.
So Robert Rodan is straight......dammit.
There was a black male assistant to Count Petofi or to the gypsies ( I can't remember which) He couldn't speak 'cause his tongue'd been cut out.
Clarice Blackburn (Mrs. Johnson) was definitely gay, as apparently is Terry Crawford (Beth). No "official" word on Kate Jackson.
Drug use and bipolarity were a deadly combination for Don Briscoe, who ended up living with his parents as a recluse until he died. He apparently gained a lot of weight, which also contributed to his health problems.
As is usual the case in the daytime, the nonromantic "couples" always wound up having the best chemistry: Barnabas and Willie, Barnabas and his hag Julia, Roger and the first Burke, etc.
Joel Cruthers was the only one at the time to be known to be gay.supposedly he had a 10 inch cock and slept with a young Tom Seleck.
Any nude photos of DS guys ever pop up anywhere?
There are nude photos of Jonathan Frid but they appear to be photoshopped.
Joel Crothers was NOT the only one known to be gay. Also open about being gay at that time:
Now I know why I liked Dark Shadows so much as a child. I had no clue they were all gay but must have had gaydar even at age 8.
Ditto for The Village People. I bought there album for the cover and never realized it was a gay group until later. And if all of this isn't clueless enough I thought Divine was a real woman for ages.
This is what happens when you grow up in rural Texas.
I wish there could be a show like this on tv now. The soap Passions kind of tried it but the acting was for the most part really bad and they relied to heavily on young pretty people.
Joel Crothers was not gay. He was engaged to marry long-time girlfriend, actress Velekka Grey, when he died from leukemia. Geoffrey Scott has been married for years to the same woman, and Anthony George had been married as well. Don Briscoe had a nervous breakdown after a bad LDS trip, which left him psychologically paralyzed. It was well known that Chris Bernau was fucking his GL co-stars Denise Pence and Kathleen Cullen (who played his daughter!). Not sure about Frid and Edmunds. Prentice was a notorious bi. The only actor who ever pinged was David Henesy, and he grew up to be straight.
Folks often say that Patsy Stone on AbFab is "really a gay man", but I've often felt that Angelique was a character gay guys would identify with? Myself, as a little boy I was scared to death of her (back then)!
Get a grip, r69. Denial makes you homophobic.
You know, a lot of this is so disrespectful. What does it matter what a person's orientation is? If you liked their acting just appreciate that. If they were a nice person, just appreciate that. I knew Jonathan Frid on a casual basis. I never doubted that he was gay. But when he bowed and kissed my hand, I could thrill at all the fantasy of Barnabas. He was a kind man. He took time to appreciate his fans. I never thought about who was gay when I watched Dark Shadows. I don't think about it when I watch any show, or when I meet people in real life. I don't know why it is such a big deal.
You must be new here r.72...and a woman.
Jonathan Frid was not gay.
He was a celibate and he practiced Celibacy for many years.
In the 1960 or 1961 he was a member of the Hugh Hefner's Playboy Club and he had yearly subscription of the Playboy Magazine.
[R69] is unbelievably naive. You "don't know" about Louis Edmunds? He could not possibly have been more out. Many, if not all, of the men who acted in Dark Shadows were gay. How is acknowledging that fact "disrespectful," as [R72] insists? Do. Not. Get.
I thought Kate Jackson is gay.
Someone said Humbert Allan Astredo was gay - are you sure? He had a daughter.
Also, even though they're straight, anyone know if alexanandra Moltke and Mitchell Ryan had a thing?
I'd say [R69] is more than naive. Just about every statement is false. Either lacks the ability to research or another women in denial, or both.
who cares? i thought we accepted all peole. what does it matter who was gay and who wasnt since you werent go to sleep with any of them. why does gay or heterosexual matter otherwise?
I just saw "House of Dark Shadows" last week and Don Briscoe was really cute. What a shame about his life.
Is that gang rape rumor true?
I think it's very important to accept all peole.
We started watching the whole series a couple of weeks ago. Right now Barnabas and all the other-worldly stuff has not really begun except for David and his ghosts and the old abandonned house. Joel Crothers is so sexy and I also like the guy who plays Burke Devlin. Joan Bennett always reads her lines on cue cards and Louis Edmonds is playing a male version of Phoebe Wallingford. What a ham ! He always looks very uncomfortable when he plays against macho Burke Devlin...Everything is fun to watch. The actor who plays Sam overacts and spits everywhere. Young David steals every scenes he's in and I love the mean housekeeper.
My partner and I started watching the series a couple of years ago. We are currently up to August 5, 1969. A little under two years of episodes to go! LOVING every second of it by the way.
r69 Thank you for such a good laugh. I haven't seen someone go to such extremes to "in" people in ages.
Would love to see what you have to say about the number of gay men and lesbians in the Edge of Night cast in the late 70s/early 80s.
r82, stick with it. A much better Sam appears not long into the series.
David Henesy lives in Panama. He's married and his wife recently gave birth.
Jonathan may have thought he was gay, but that's only because he never met me!
Anybody remember Alan Feinstein? He appeared in the very first episode of DS. His main claim to fame was playing Dr. Jim Fields o Edge Of Night. Also, he played the gay football player in the TV movie "Alexander: The Other Side Of Dawn".
Hmmm....appeared on Dark Shadows, Edge Of Night and played a closeted gay in a movie....I wonder....
r88 Alan Feinstein as Jim Fields was one of my first crushes. This was long before I understood what it meant. But as a 6 year old boy, all I knew was that I liked to look at him. Whenever Jim Fields was in a scene, he was the one I focused on.
I've "heard" that Nancy Barrett's marriage to David Ford was a sham to coverup her proclivity for enticing women into lesbian stands. She apparently handpicked women for short stints on the show, such as the woman who played Pansey Fay. Nancy's appetites for women was voracious, she was known to have had sexual relations with several women cast members, even some who formerly considered themselves straight.
That actor who played Burke Devlin was the only straight one on the show? Someone said he got fired from the show for messing up on his lines a result of drinking?Holy Moly! he was extremely handsome! wow!
I'm renting Dark Shadows from the library. They only charge seventy five cents if they have to send for it from another library,and if they have the DVD at your local library it's free. So far I just finished watching season 1 1966.Now I'm starting to watch season 2 1967.I was born in 1970 ,so I never saw this show until now and I'm having fun.
r74 Thank you. A subscription to Playboy is definitive proof! Whew! Glad that mystery has been solved.
OMG, I'm lol-ing my head off at all of these posts. I watched the series as a kid and am rewatching it again now. Even now, it never crossed my mind to think who was or wasn't gay, except for Frid, only because I never saw anything about him with a woman or anyone for that matter. I never even found him attractive until now, and only in creepy kinda way, if that makes any sense.
R74's post brings to mind a photo I saw back in the days of DS reign on daytime tv. It was of Frid outside, drum roll please------------------------------a Playboy Club!!! I kid you not. I remember being horrified! It was shocking, I tell you. Positively shocking!! Proactive damage control, no doubt.
I am absolutely sure Grayson Hall was. She was just so masculine. I am well aware that she was married with a son, but so many are anyway... Vincent Price was married to three women! The first time I ever heard JFrid speak in his "normal" voice... I knew. But, I loved the show, and loved them all, and still love the movie House of Dark Shadows, which I saw at the theatre at age 11. BOO!!!
what about the actor who played Harry Johnson? how the f did they get away with that?
"Joel Crothers was not gay."
Well, he was when he fucked my old gay friend, and when he died of AIDS.
"Joan Bennett always reads her lines on cue cards"
I have a dvd of one of the Dark Shadows conventions and she said she was near-sighted and couldn't read cue cards, and that several of the rest of the cast were also near-sighted and had the same problem. But maybe she was lying.
In any case, one of my favorite things about the show is how many mistakes were kept. They only had the one camera for a couple hours per day so they only called "cut" if an entire wall of the set fell down or something equally dire. That's why there are so many microphones visible hanging down from the ceiling and messed up lines and such. Louis Edmonds filmed one scene in his underpants because he thought he was done but he had one more scene, so he stood behind a sofa.
The photo linked to at R38 is all the proof I need that Jonathan Frid was indeed gay.
Little David and Victoria Winters seemed to be the only ones who never forgot their lines
Don Briscoe was beautiful.
Anthony George's brother, Al 'Otsie', was my gym teacher when I was a kindergartener... We miss ya 'Coachie''!!!!!! God rest their souls, good people if you actually knew them.
Oh yeah... Big deal if tony was gay....
I was just going to mention Harry Johnson (Craig Slocum), R97. He seems as though he'd just finished a Boys in the Band wrap recently, and still in character there!
I grabbed a video from the library to watch this weekend, which covers the summer of '68 episodes that I don't recall from back then. Frid's acting is about as wooden as it gets, although in these scenes he's all mopey, rather than the nasty, snarling vampire I recall so fondly. Astredo as Blair is incredibly creepy; Cassandra is much wimpier than Angelique.
I hadn't seen Rodan as Adam before, but I can believe he's straight (unlike almost all the other male characters). Interesting that he's got all those Frankenstein scars all over his face, yet Harry Johnson seems not to have really noticed that?
Speaking of the production values, on DVD you can hear the prompting on occasion, a very low whisper of "David ..." etc. We never had a color set during its original run, but that purple furniture with teal(?) candles at the Old House made me mildly queasy. Also, Cassandra screams "Nicholas! Nicholas!" at the top of her lungs, seconds after David leaves the set, and neither he, nor anyone else, comes rushing in to see what's the matter?
God bless Grayson Hall! I loved her on OLTL as Euphemia Ralston, too!
That OLD guy
Why was Barnabas always so mean to Julia in his first season on the show. You could tell that she'd fallen in love with him, she even got that kicky lesbian short do to impress and nothing. He was always threatening her and choking her. Poor Julia.
Even as the kid I was at the time, Jonathan Frid pinged
Frid and John Karlen had amazing sexual chemistry. He had great chemistry with Grayson Hall too, but it came off as more of a hag-type relationship. Louis Edmonds probably pinged even more than Frid, especially when he was playing Roger in the present time. Trying to pass Roger off as some playboy who was married to Laura and Cassandra/Angelique was laughable. You just know he wanted to fuck the original Burke Devlin.
Barnabas comes to feel affection for Julia later on, R105. Speaking of Grayson Hall, I'm watching the episodes where she's playing gypsy Magda Rakosi, hamming and camping it up with glee. Judith Collins(the 1897 equivalent of Eliz Stoddard) seems really dykey to me, while her brother Carl is fairly obviously gay.
Regarding the Don Briscoe rumors ... that guy REALLY knows how to work that ass! The way he pivots around, and the cameraman's shots, make ME want to rape him!
I'm glad to read Roger Davies is straight, and could understand why the other cast members didn't like him much.
Marie Wallace (previously seen as Eve) does a good job as Quentin's jilted wife. I'm having trouble buying a blond, Nordic-looking actress playing a character named Beth Chavez. Then again, the idea of a group of gypsies traipsing around Maine and Quebec 100 years ago seems far-fetched to me.
It is very well known that Jonathan Frid was gay. Sorry ladies. Louis Edmonds was very gay. Chris Bernau was gay. Joel Crothers was gay but closeted.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, girlfriends were invented to hide homosexuality. (Just like today, but much more rampant). Remember Rock Hudson marrying the secretary?
Bruno bears a strong resemblance to ... Joan Crawford! Roger Collins in 1970 Parallel Time approaches Paul Lynde territory in terms of masculinity.
I'm shocked lesbians wouldn't be wild with excitement over Angelique?
Barnabas to Julia: "Heel, Hag!"
Clarice Blackburn was a lesbian. Marie Wallace as Eve gave off a dom dyke vibe. She had some chemistry with Lara Parker, but not with any of the men. I think she's straight IRL. Robert Rodan was an extremely handsome man, and you could tell underneath Adam's ridiculous scars. Roger Davis was just my type to a tee, but he sounds like a hateful person.
It so sad how these actors and really most gay people had to hid who they were to the extent of fake lovers and wives/husbands. Of course some of that is still happening but back then it was probably 99.9% of gay people in all professions from the lowest level blue collar job to the top of any profession. Today we still have those like Tom Cruise and Travolta but so many have been able to come out and be proud. Even on shows like chopped gay chefs proudly speak of their husbands/wives/GF/BF.
Not far enough by any means but we have come a long way.
Jerry Lacy was truly gross as Rev. Trask, but when he later played the modern-day butler, looking like his regular self, he was good looking. I see what Julia Duffy saw in him.
r112, most of the gay actors on DS were not closeted. With the exception of Crothers, who dated women too, they were all pretty much out of the closet. Louis Edmonds, Frid, Blackburn, Chris Bernau...these guys weren't exactly using beards. For all intents and purposes, they were out.
The women on Dark Shadows were so beautiful; Kathryn Leigh-Scott and Lara Parker were gorgeous, but I had a special crush on the lovely Donna Wandrey, who played Roxanne, one of Barnabas's love interests. In contrast to the long-haired Leigh-Scott and Parker, she had a short pixie haircut (when she was playing Roxanne in modern times) and she was a redhead. With her blue eyes, delicate features and peaches and cream complexion she was quite a knockout. She wasn't on the show long, but she was probably my favorite female character.
I don't think KLS was gorgeous at all? Perhaps because her characters seem dopey/whiny to me.
Funny you should mention Wandrey as she's just appeared in the series on DVD, along with an and-of-disc interview from around 10 years ago, where she's still very good looking.
I thought Lara Parker was a goddess. Just so amazingly beautiful and talented. It's funny, looking back, she had great chemistry with all the actors she was paired with, except for the one straight guy in the cast, David Selby. They had absolutely no chemistry when they tried pairing Angelique and Quentin. She and Humbert Allen Astredo were terrific together.
By "chemistry" do you mean the brief 1897 plotline where Quentin and Angelique were engaged? It was pretty clear that the characters were NOT in love, but that she forced it on him to make Barnabas jealous. If you mean Selby and Parker as individuals, perhaps they weren't each others' type?
The Hammer and Amicus horror films of that era (which were definite influences on DS) always had a goddesslike actress or two in them. Hammer also introduced the idea of Dracula being played as an English aristocrat rather than a Central European. Jonathan Frid had a sort of Christopher Lee-Peter Cushing vibe about him.
My uncle tricked with Joel Crothers at Mineshaft back in the '70s. Says that Crothers was known as quite the little cum slut back in the day. He was so boyishly handsome (my type!) in his DS days. Didn't care for the daddy/marlboro man thing he tried to affect later on Edge, though he was still a handsome man.
The DVD set features interviews with series writer Sam Hall, Grayson's husband, and I'm shocked at the purses-and-frocks delivery!
I wish they would put the rest of the episodes on DVD...I really loved them.
The entire series IS available on DVD, no?
I don't know if Humbert Allen Astredo is gay or not but he sure appeared that way !
He supposedly was not, by virtue of his having been married (and divorced I believe) with kids. His characters were all rather flamboyant.
Those who claim Thayer David was gay are evidently mistaken.He was married & divorced,according to the article,he was on the verge of remarrying his ex wife when he died in 1978.
I always thought/read that David Selby and Don Briscoe were straight.
Mrs. Johnson was a lesbo in real life. Clarice Blackburn had a female partner for over 40 years.
The straight guys on DS - Mitch Ryan, John Karlen, Selby, Geoff Scott, Roger Davis, Briscoe, Pennock, James Storm, Jerry Lacy. The rest = all gay.
Are you saying that Chris Bernau wasn't straight? But he was oh so butch on the show.
OMG Chris Bernau was of course flaming as Phillip Todd. Sorry to have forgotten him, he was so hot as Alan on GL. That voice!!
I thought Briscoe was bi? David Hennessey, though wueer-acting, queer-appearing was straight. So was Stroika. Thayer David may not have been gay, but Stokes sure was! Dr. Lang struck me as a nasty top, who demanded sex from Jeff Clark, not just grave digging.
Jonathan Frid used to drink (heavily) at a local Gramercy Park (NYC) back in the late 70s...I spoke to him on a few occasions...He wasn't very friendly...seemed more interested in booze than boys...
Frid had a thing for the younger ones and spent several of his post-Dark Shadows years in Mexico, where they're more relaxed about such things. I knew a guy -- a right-wing homophobe to the world at large -- who was one of Frid's boy toys. Frid asked the guy, when said guy was in high school, to be a "writer/producer" for him. This guy is still slithering around NYC, blogging from inside his closet and trying to get close to other washed-up celebrities at autograph shows.