One of the creators of a truly iconic horror character has left us.
John Lafia–credited as the co-creator of the killer doll Chucky and the co-writer of the original Child’s Play movie–has passed away at the age of 63. The reported cause of death was suicide, according to a press release.
Lafia–who also directed Child’s Play 2–reportedly named the horrific doll in the famous film series and coined the doll’s chilling catchphrase, “Hi, I’m Chucky. Wanna play?”
Details of his passing were sketchy at this writing, but the sad news reportedly was confirmed by Child’s Play co-writer Don Mancini.
A heartfelt statement from Mancini described Lafia as “an incredibly generous artist. He taught me more about filmmaking during the production of Child’s Play 2 than several semesters in film school.
“John was also one of the most naturally curious and constantly creative people I ever met. We’ll miss him terribly,” Mancini wrote.
Lafia’s representatives, Falcon Publicity, issued a statement on behalf of the grieving family. “It is with great sadness that we announce that loving father, film and television writer, director, producer and musician John Lafia passed away Wednesday, April 29,” the statement read.
“Beyond his accomplishments in the film and television world, he also was an inventive musician. He was an unstoppable creator and a passionate advocate for the rights of artists in every field.”
In the 1980s, Lafia made his indelible mark on the horror genre, contributing to the screenplay of the original Child’s Play movie and directing two episodes of the Nightmare on Elm Street television series.
Following the success of the first film, Lafia slipped into the director’s chair for the sequel in 1990. Many fans and colleagues, including Mancini, believe Child’s Play 2 to be the highlight of the franchise.
Lafia is survived by his children Tess and Kane and his former wife Beverly.
The family reportedly wanted anyone who is at risk of suicide, or who knows of someone in that position, to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.
Horror News Network extends condolences to Lafia’s family, friends and colleagues.