Former movie star Joan Bennett, headlined the show as the Collin's family matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. Bennett's 'old' Hollywood trained voice & poise gave the show glamour. Bennett wore on the show were the real thing from Ms. Closing credits of the shows always had.."Fashions by Orbachs.." The show is great for, if nothing else, a study in late 60s early 70s fashion sensibilities. Bennett's upswept hairdos & flowing chiffon dresses or tailored skirt/blouse 'sets' to the younger womens' minis & long flip hair styles, the show's a veritable time capsule of retro chic. There was Elizabeth Collins Stoddard & her grown, 20something daughter Carolyn, played by Nancy Barrett who lived on the family estate/mansion Collinwood. Stoddard, mysteriously missing for twenty years or so, is presumed dead. Stoddard's brother, Roger Collins, played by Louis Edmonds & his young pre-teen son, David, played by David Henesy.
Roger Collins's wife, Laura (Diana Millay) has recently died in a fire.
Their friendship (and her secret love for Barnabas) would form one of the shows' main plot lines.
The show moved slowly and deliberately & revelled in it's Gothic, supernatural feel.
Josette herself would reach an untimely death at the edge of Widow's Hill overlooking the rocky shoreline hundreds of feet below.
Later back in modern time, Roger Collins will bring home as his new bride, Cassandra, a woman who looks amazingly like the Angelique from the 1700s.
Completing the major characters of the show was Dr.
Julia Hoffman, (Grayson Hall), a woman committed to transforming Barnabas by scientific (or supernatural if necessary), means back to a normal man.
Only the most catastrophic of events would cause producers to re-shoot a scene.
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The show is famous for the occasional slip-up: crew visible on screen, a boom-mike shown above the actors' heads, actors struggling to remember their lines or actors calling another character by their wrong name.
Still , this only helped to give the show a theatrical feel, as if you were sitting in the audience watching a live piece of theatre which consequently endowed the show a certain prestige that typical soap operas never achieved. The Collins family live in the coastal town of Collinsport, somewhere on the coast of Maine. The initial modern Collins family was not a traditional nuclear family.