I wrote this at the time of Curtis’s death. I want to note that I begged and pleaded with numerous websites to just post something about the man’s passing. None of them did. These are some of the so called “uber geek” sites that should know better. That bothered me and still does. Only now, four years later, is he getting the respect he deserves. Too little too late I think.
Born August 12th 1927
Died March 27th 2006
Dan Curtis, in my eyes, was as important to genre television as Rod Serling. In fact, Curtis brought us some of THE best TV horror ever produced.
Dan Curtis brought us the granddaddy of Buffy, Dark Shadows. If not for that soap I doubt you would have shows like Buffy, Passions, or some of the activity that went on in General Hospital spin-off Port Charles a few years ago.
Curtis brought us Barnabas and Josette, Angelique and the rest. He was the man who helped bring us the first vampire who wanted to be cured, who was cursed and who had a love interest who was reincarnated over the centuries. Think about that for a moment, and ponder just how many films and series have been inspired by the show Dan Curtis helped make into one of the biggest cult shows of all time.
But Curtis did more than introduce us to the Collins family. He directed and produced some of the best horror movies to be made for the small screen. Karen Black and the infamous fetish doll of Trilogy of Terror was one of them, along with Dead of Night and that beyond scary demon boy who was sent back to inflict revenge on a bad mother. Not to mention The Night Strangler, the follow up to one of the highest rated TV movies of all time, The Night Stalker, starring the late Darren McGavin.
Curtis also was responsible for many retellings of classic horror literature, such as Jack Palance’s turn as Dracula and Jekyll and Hyde. He also took on The Turn of the Screw and The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Add to this the directing of The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, two amazing mini series starring Robert Mitchum, and you’ve got a man who’s credits show a legend of television.
Dan Curtis was a pioneer of television horror, plus he did his share of feature film work as well, directing the creep fest Burnt Offerings. I feel his passing has not been remarked upon as much as it should be. He deserves more than what he has been giving, especially for what he has given us.
I want to thank you Dan Curtis, for the many chills that you helped go up my spine. For the jumps and scares that doll made me have. For Barnabas and the gang. For a lifetime of fun and enjoyment. Thank you from all of us who rooted for the vampire to get the girl because you helped make him the hero for once. Thank you and we’ll miss you.