Robert Rodan, a retired actor who had a memorable role as the Frankenstein’s monster-like character Adam on the classic TV series Dark Shadows, has passed away. Per Deadline, news of Rodan’s death was announced on the Dark Shadows newsletter Shadowgram, revealing that the actor died on March 25 due to heart failure. He was 83 years old.
“We’re sad to share the news that #DarkShadows actor Robert Rodan has died at the age of 83,” Dark Shadows News posted on Twitter. “Robert played the Frankenstein-esque Adam during on the show in 1968. Robert passed away in Oregon on March 25 of heart failure. His ashes will be scattered off Catalina Island.”
Born Robert Trimas in Newark, New Jersey, Rodan is best known for playing Adam on Dark Shadows in the late 1960s. Boasting superhuman strength and childlike innocence, the character served as the “Frankenstein’s monster” of the series, inspired by Mary Shelley’s classic horror novel Frankenstein. Created with body parts from various corpses by Dr. Eric Lang in his laboratory, Adam was brought to life by the mad scientist and kept to life in the basement of the Old House, later working with Alexandra Moltke as Eve – Adam’s Bride of Frankenstein-inspired companion.
Rodan’s TV debut came in the classic series Day in Court in 1963. Before his stint on Dark Shadows, Rodan appeared in the 1964 movies Goodbye Charlie and Looking for Love. In 1969, Rodan played Henry Baxter in the drama movie The Minx. Decades later, Rodan would return to the Dark Shadows franchise by appearing in a series of audio dramas in the early 2000s, though he did not reprise the role of Adam.
“RIP Robert Rodan. Loved Adam on Dark Shadows. Wished he stayed on longer & came back to DS,” tweeted one fan after hearing about Rodan’s death, joining other fans in their mourning of the memorable actor.
“How sad to hear this. I wish DS had used him in one of their period pieces. RIP, Robert Rodan,” another fan said.
News of Rodan’s death follows two other actors from the Dark Shadows universe who both passed away last month. On Feb. 12, Christopher Pennock, who played a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-inspired character, died after a battle with cancer at the age of 76. Geoffrey Scott, who played Sky Rumson on the TV series, died soon after on Feb. 23 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.
Airing for six seasons between 1966 and 1971, Dark Shadows was a gothic soap opera that followed the lives of the Collins family in a town inhabited by monsters and supernatural creatures. Along with Jonathan Frid as vampire Barnabas Collins, the show featured ghosts, werewolves, zombies, witches, warlocks, and even involved time travel and parallel universes. Tim Burton rebooted the series as a theatrical movie release in 2012 with Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins.
Rodan’s survivors include daughters Mandi and Laura, son Jordan, and granddaughter Brianna. We offer our condolences at this difficult time to Rodan’s family and friends. May he rest in peace. This news comes to us from Deadline.