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|1st appearance:||House of Dark Shadows (1970)|
Jeff Clark is a fictional artist and a major character in the 1970 American horror film House of Dark Shadows. He is based on the character of Jeff Clark seen in the original 1960s daytime Gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows. The character is played by actor Roger Davis.
Jeff Clark was a young, struggling artist that lived in the village of Collinsport, Maine. He worked his craft from the confines of his meager studio at the foot of an embankment off of Beach Road. Jeff's girlfriend was Maggie Evans, a governess for young David Collins from the great estate known as Collinwood.
In June of 1970, Jeff had been driving over to Collinwood to meet Maggie when he witnessed a woman named Daphne Budd stumbling upon the road near the archway of the front gate. Jeff slammed on the brakes of his car and recognized Daphne as the secretary to Collinwood's matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. Shocked to discover two bloody, gaping wounds on her throat, he brought her inside.
A few nights later, a woman named Nancy Hodiak arrived at Jeff's studio. She had commissioned Jeff to paint a portrait of her as a birthday gift for her husband. Jeff and Maggie presented Nancy with the recently framed portrait and the wealthy young woman left. Moments later, Jeff ran out to see if Nancy required a lift home. Maggie and he discovered Nancy's dead body lying outside of her car. Her throat was torn open with two open sores, similar to the ones he found on Daphne. Jeff telephoned Sheriff George Patterson and reported the crime.
Shortly thereafter, Jeff and Maggie met the newest member of the Collins family to arrive in Collinsport, Barnabas Collins. Barnabas was instantly smitten with Maggie and made certain to exude as much of his old-world charm as he could possibly muster upon her. Jeff took note of this and developed a gnawing distaste for the English gentleman. Maggie and he later argued over the matter and Jeff's jealousy created a small rift between them.
Within a short time, Jeff and the members of the Collins family discovered that Carolyn Stoddard had been murdered, and rose from the grave as a vampire. Jeff was present when Professor Timothy Eliot Stokes and several sheriffs' deputies corned Carolyn in the old Collinwood stables and ended her immortal existence once and for all.
During this time, Barnabas Collins had decided to steal Maggie away from Jeff. Towards this end, he arranged for some of Jeff's paintings to be placed on display at the Evanston Gallery in Boston. Jeff didn't know whom his mysterious benefactor was, but he was required to leave town for a few days to attend the gallery, leaving Barnabas the opportunity to court Maggie Evans.
By the time Jeff returned to Collinsport, he discovered that Barnabas Collins was the original vampire responsible for all of the recent attacks. Further, he had kidnapped Maggie Evans and was holding her captive. Jeff worked with Professor Stokes and Roger Collins to track Barnabas down and hopefully destroy him. Their plan nearly failed however as Barnabas attacked Stokes and Roger turning them both into vampires. Jeff found the vampire Stokes on the marshes of St. Eustace Island. Stokes lunged at him, but Jeff was able to fight him off by firing a silver bullet into his chest. He then went to the ruins of an old chapel monastery where he found the vampire, Roger Collins. Roger had only just awakened to his new existence, but Jeff made sure that it was a brief one as he impaled Roger through the heart with a sharpened piece of wood.
Jeff tracked Barnabas to the nave and altar of the monastery. He armed himself with a crossbow and snuck up into the balcony of the rotunda. At the altar, Barnabas held the unconscious Maggie Evans, and planned on turning her into his immortal bride. Barnabas' servant, Willie Loomis stood next to him. Jeff fired a crossbow bolt into Willie's back, killing him. Barnabas wheeled around and used his vampiric powers of hypnosis to summon Jeff to him. Jeff dropped the crossbow and lumbered downstairs. He stood catatonic next to Barnabas as the vampire announced that he was to be a witness to their wedding. However, Jeff found the inner strength to break free of Barnabas’ mind-control. As the vampire turned his attention back towards Maggie, Jeff picked up a crossbow bolt off of the floor and plunged into Barnabas’ back. The shaft pierced his heart and he fell over, dead.
Notes & Trivia Edit
- The character of Jeff Clark was created by director Dan Curtis and writers Sam Hall and Gordon Russell.
- In the novelization of House of Dark Shadows, Willie Loomis assisted Jeff in destroying Barnabas, but this scene was never featured in the final print of the MGM film.