Jonathan Frid's Death Mourned by New Dark Shadows Star Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp attends the European premiere of 'The Rum Diary' at The Odeon Kensington on November 3, 2011 in London, England. Credit: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Johnny Depp released a statement Thursday on the "very sad" death of Dark Shadows star Jonathan Frid.

Frid is best known for playing Barnabas Collins on ABC's vampire soap opera Dark Shadows from 1966-1971, and Depp is taking over that role in Tim Burton's new film adaptation of the same name.

“Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch Dark Shadows,” Depp said in an email statement to the Los Angeles Times. ”His elegance and grace was an inspiration then and will continue to remain one forever more. When I had the honor to finally meet him … [he] generously passed the torch of Barnabas.”

The two met last year on the set of Burton's Dark Shadows. Depp, 48, said the original Dark Shadows star was "as elegant and magical as I had always imagined."

Frid died Friday, April 13 of natural causes in a hospital in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. He was 87. 

Depp said the world has a lost "a true original."