catalenamara (catalenamara) wrote,

A virtual toast to Don Briscoe

Here's a virtual toast to actor Don Briscoe, who passed away on Nov. 3, 2004. He was one of the few Dark Shadows actors I never had the opportunity to meet, but I did have a brief correspondence with him in the 1970s.

I remember, as a 13 year old, being intrigued by what his obituary described as follows: "At the height of his popularity, Briscoe was characterized as the "Dark Shadows dreamboat," a classically trained hunk with piercing eyes and Robert Redford looks..."

Don's character of Chris Jennings inspired my very first piece of fanfic. I thought that Chris, and his girlfriend Sabrina, deserved a happy ending, and gave them one. (That was something that never happened on the show, the nature of soap opera - with or without supernatural characters - being what it is.)

Don's life was not a happy one. May he find whatever he needs, wherever he is now.

Now let's see if I can handle my first "cut tag".

A quote from "The Commercial Appeal", a Tennessee newspaper:
"The obituary that appeared Nov. 3 among the regular string of death notices in The Commercial Appeal was unremarkable: "C. Donald Briscoe, 64, of Memphis, retired actor, died Sunday at his home."

"Neither the funeral home nor the family called the death to the newspaper's attention, and the name meant nothing to any of the writers or copy editors who prepared the obituary.

"But that simple sentence concealed an unusual and in some ways tragic life.

"C. Donald Briscoe" was at one time better known as Don Briscoe, the brooding "'Dark Shadows" heartthrob who played the vampire and werewolf twins Tom and Chris Jennings on the Gothic soap opera that was a pop cultural phenomenon in the late 1960s.

"Many local "Dark Shadows" fans weren't even aware that Briscoe had been living here in anonymity since the mid-1970s, after battles with drugs, nervous disorders and manic-depression ended what friends say might have been a long and important career.

"Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Briscoe evinced the type of troubled and divided personality that characterizes that tragic monster, the werewolf; and his death from heart disease on Oct. 31 seemed darkly appropriate to the fans who mourned him on such Internet sites as . . . .

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