- Dear fans,
Thanks to Dan and Deborah for those thoughtful comments on the
religious content of SP. I wonder whether the Church might have
rushed to ban the series given the bad reputation Dark Shadows had
earned in certain religious communities ... I have read that leaflets
and pamphlets condemning Dark Shadows were distributed at many
For those of you who are Colin Fox fans, I just found this very
interesting profile of Mr. Fox. I recently learned that he was NOT
the original casting choice of Jean Paul on Strange Paradise.
Original or not, I think everyone here will agree that Mr. Fox was
the BEST choice for the role. I really cannot imagine Strange
Paradise without the marvelous Colin Fox!
Colin Fox was one of the few students to have entered the National
Theatre School of Canada holding an Equity card. He had earned it
over a period of two summers slogging it as an apprentice in summer
stock: building sets, doing prop runs, operating sound and lights and
then walking on as detective no. 2 in "Craig's Wife" starring
In his last year at NTS (after paying his way as replacement
announcer at CBS Montreal and as CJAD's classical music host) Colin
won the title role in CBC-TV production of "Macbeth," went on to co-
star in Edward Albee's "Tiny Alice" at the Crest Theatre in Toronto,
and enthusiastically accepting an "as cast" contract for the
Stratford Shakespearian Festival - found himself with a season of
slogging (again) through "Henry v - Henry VI" as filthy and
disreputable soldier - speaking a grand total of 12 words.
Finally on the brink of recognition Colin was offered one of
the "Three Musketeers' (Aramis) which was to be televised , then
included in Stratford's 1969 season. With the cameras rolling he flew
out of second story window onto an awaiting trampoline, his boar
snared in the webbing, and the resulting injury sidelined him for six
While recovering he was offered the starring role in the gothic
horror series "Strange Paradise" - which to this day retains a cult
following that still remembers the "good" jean Paul Desmond doing
battle with his alter ego: the "evil" Jacques Elois des Mondes.
Now mostly in the world of television and film Colin continued to
alternate between those good and bad guys - only not at the same
A few examples:
Ellen Burstyn's suitor in the feature "Silence of the North": back on
the boards on Broadway as Rosemary Harris' neighbour who turns out to
be a sup" pursued by Scotland Yard's Patrick McGoohan in "Pack of
Lies": the dotty father in "Anteroom" opposite Elizabeth Wilson at
Playwrights Horizon: a compassionate bishop in "The Equalizer": and a
reluctant priest on "Law & Order".
Over a four year period Colin co-starred in the TV series "psi
Factor - Stories of the Paranormal" as psychiatrist Dr. Anton
Hendricks, a role that has earned him a following from Texas to
Stuttgart to Auckland.
At the same time he was appearing in another television series - "The
Adventures of Shirley Holmes". He'd leave the set of "psi Factor"
fling his New York bow tie collection in a suitcase and head off to
Winnipeg to play every high school's nemesis; The history teacher,
Mr. Howie: a comical foil whose mishaps would bring Shirley and her
sidekick Bo to the rescue! He even had to be rescued from the amorous
clutches of Shelly Duvall who guest starred as a smitten librarian
who case spells on poor Arthur Howie!
Colin loves the contrast between the two utterly different characters
in the two series. "I'm glad one was in Toronto and the other in
Winnipeg - the flight gave me time to make the adjustment!"
It wasn't until the end of "Shirley's" fourth season that Colin found
out the Mr. Howie was based on a real life character who had been the
bane of producer Kim Todd's high school existence!
Although he has often joked that he never seems to get sent to exotic
locations - the 90's broke is travelling dry spell:
Nice and the French Riviera to film "Star for Two" with Anthony
Quinna nd Lauren Bacall; To New Zealand for "The Sound and the
Silence" Montana for "Return on Lonesome Dove" and best of all: Rome
for six months as one of the survivors of a tunnel explosion and
flood (rescued by Sylvester Stallone) in "Daylight". Claire Bloom
played his wife. It was a grueling six month shoot at Rome's
Cinecitta studios but it meant being in one of the great cities on
earth. Colin's wife Carol joined him and their daughter Sarah who was
enrolled in school in Italy. E ver since Colin & Carol have made
plans to go back. Recently they toured Sicily for a month
Colin and Carol decided that somewhere in Italy they would find a
second home. Presently they live in an 1860's stone farmhouse outside
of Toronto while Sarah is attending McGill university in Montreal.