Dark Shadows is the first soap opera to ever deal with the supernatural. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves went bump in the night! Jonathan Frid kicked it all off with his portrayal of Barnabas Collins, a reluctant vampire cursed to live eternity nibbling on the necks of Collinsport.
Sharon Smyth Lentz was 10 years old when she won the part of his little sister, Sarah Collins. Sarah entered the story as the ghostly friend of David Collins. Sarah tried her best to protect David from harm due to his natural curiosity, and his realizing something wasn't quite right with cousin Barnabas. He discovered Barnabas' secret and almost became his midnight dish, except for Sarah's help in protecting him. This story peaked with a trip back to the past via a seance for the audience to learn how Barnabas became a vampire. There, Sharon played the living version of Sarah Collins.
The story centered around a scorned witch (Angelique) getting revenge on Barnabas for loving and leaving her. No one was safe from being used as a means to an end for Angelique, including Sarah. Sarah endured a strange, painful sickness that came on suddenly and left her near death. Unbeknownst to the adults, Sarah was being used as a human pin cushion via her doll in order to throw a wrench into the happy wedding plans for Barnabas and Josette. The jealous witch would stop at nothing to have what she wanted. Unable to control Barnabas even after her evil magic had won him in marriage, Angelique threatened Sarah's life to hold him in Collinsport. Barnabas retaliated, shooting Angelique. It was then that the curse was set in motion. Barnabas was doomed to watch anyone that loved him die....for all eternity.
The curse came for little Sarah when she saw Barnabas looking up at the house in the night when he was supposed to be far away in England. Convinced she had seen Barnabas, Sarah went out in search of him in the night. She ended up in Eagle Hill cemetery and got locked in the mausoleum either by the wind..or something else.... Locked in and unable to get out, she sat down and fell asleep. With dawn so close Barnabas made his way back to the mausoleum and his coffin, not knowing Sarah was there. She saw him and the blood on his face and ran away in fright. She was not found until the next day and had spent the night outside and was suffering from exposure.
As soon as night fell, Barnabas with the aid of Ben, got in to see Sarah. He wanted to make it right so she would not be so frightened. She died in his arms, thus the curse taking away someone Barnabas loved dearly.
This is the last time we see little Sarah, but her image and the wonderful acting by Sharon Smyth Lentz lives on to this day.
Written by Dawn Chamberlin