We here at Terror Time, along with the the horror community worldwide, are devastated by the loss of a key player in the Child’s Play franchise.
Variety reported this morning that John Lafia — who co-wrote the original Child’s Play with Don Mancini and coined the name “Chucky” for one of the horror genre’s most beloved characters — died in Los Angeles on April 29 at the age of 63. It’s also been confirmed that Lafia took his own life.
A prolific and successful writer-director for decades, Lafia is credited for the line “Hi, I’m Chucky! Wanna play?” which became the catchphrase for the “Good Guy” doll possessed by the evil spirit of serial killer Charles Lee Ray. Lafia was nominated for a Saturn Award in 1988 for his work on Child’s Play (he received a writing credit on last year’s remake), and went on to direct Child’s Play 2.
Lafia’s CV is not limited to horror, but he nevertheless carved out a successful career in the genre. In 1993, he wrote and directed the sci-fi-horror feature Man’s Best Friend, directed episodes of Freddy’s Nightmares and the TV movie The Rats, and directed & produced the 2004 miniseries 10.5 and its 2005 spinoff 10.5: Apocalypse.
Lafia’s family shared a statement from Mancini, mourning the passing of his friend and collaborator:
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… 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 [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, someone who was always taking pictures, and jotting down ideas.
Lafia is survived by his children Tess and Kane, and his former wife Beverly.