John Lafia, the co-writer for Child’s Play as well as the co-writer and director for Child’s Play 2, died on April 29 in Los Angeles. The 63-year-old’s family sent a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, saying that Lafia “was an unstoppable creator and a passionate advocate for the rights of artists in every field.”
According to the outlet’s report, although Lafia’s cause of death has not been revealed, his family included information about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. He leaves behind his children Kane and Tess and his ex-wife Beverly.
Lafia co-wrote the 1988 horror cult classic Child’s Play, the first movie in the longtime franchise about the killer doll named Chucky. He also co-wrote 1990’s Child’s Play 2, and he directed the film as well. Lafia is credited as the person to come up with the name “Chucky.” He also helped create Chucky’s famous line: “Hi, I’m Chucky, wanna play?”
The Creator of ‘Child’s Play,’ Don Mancini, Called Lafia an ‘Incredibly Generous Artist’
Don Mancini, the creator and screenwriter for Child’s Play, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
We’re devastated to hear of the passing of our friend John Lafia. He was a crucial part of the ‘Chucky’ family from the very beginning. He co-wrote the original ‘Child’s Play’ script along with director Tom Holland and myself, and John directed ‘Child’s Play 2,’ — the consensus favorite film among ‘Chucky’ fans. John was an incredibly generous artist. He let me tag along with him to every meeting, and shadow him on set; he taught me more about filmmaking during the production of that movie than several semesters in film school. John was also one of the most naturally curious and constantly creative people I ever met, someone who was always taking pictures, and jotting down ideas.
Lafia directed many television shows, including episodes of Babylon 5, Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater, Freddy’s Nightmares, 10.5 and 10.5 Apocalypse. He also directed the movie The Blue Iguana, Man’s Bestfriend and Bombmeister.
Fans Reacted to Lafia’s Death on Twitter
After the news broke about Lafia’s death, many fans took to social media to share their thoughts. Jason Scott, a horror writer, tweeted:
He said, “Child’s Play 2 terrified me as a kid, but I couldn’t get enough. Such a well-crafted scarefest with some iconic Chucky zingers. That classroom scene traumatized me most, actually, and Kyle is a badass. Rest in peace, John Lafia.”
Another horror fan, Matty tweeted:
He said, “Horrific news. Heart goes out to his family and friends. Man’s Best Friend and The Rats are damn fine movies, and his work on the Child’s Play series is immortal. RIP, John Lafia.”
Don Mancini tweeted: “DEVASTATED. RIP JOHN LAFIA.” A fan replied:
The fan said, “That’s a huge loss. Child’s Play 2 is on of the best horror movies ever made, John Lafia belongs to the hall of fame of legendary directors. May he rest in peace, he will not escape our mind for a long time, we owe him Child Play 2’s finale.”