Depp stars in director Tim Burton's new movie revamp as vampire Barnabas Collins, the cult character made famous by Frid, and the Hollywood hunk reveals he will always treasure the special note he received from the TV veteran giving him his official seal of approval.
He tells WENN, "Jonathan was terrific. He actually wrote me a letter a couple of years before and signed a photograph to me that sort of was like passing the baton to me as Barnabas, which I thought was very sweet."
And the Pirates of the Caribbean star was able to give his version of Barnabas a sense of authenticity - by using an original prop from the 1960s show.
He adds, "I used the cane which was leftover from the (TV) series."
Frid, who died last month (Apr12), aged 87, filmed a cameo appearance in Burton's forthcoming adaptation, marking his final onscreen role.