Horror filmmaker John Lafia died by suicide at 63, according to Deadline, on April 29. His family confirmed the news in a statement, saying, “It is with great sadness we announce that loving father, film and television writer, director, producer and musician John J. Lafia passed away.”
Lafia was best known as a co-writer for the1988 horror movie “Child’s Play.” According to his collaborators, Tom Holland and Don Mancini, Lafia coined the name Chucky and the film’s most popular line: “Hi, I’m Chucky, wanna play?” Lafia was also a co-writer and director on the 1990 follow-up, “Child’s Play 2.”
A post shared by John Lafia (@johnlafia) on Nov 4, 2018 at 6:40am PST
“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,” Mancini said in a statement provided to Variety, adding:
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.
— Don Mancini (@RealDonMancini) May 2, 2020
Fans, friends and colleagues reacted to his death on social media and shared condolences.
Incredibly sad to learn of the passing of John Lafia, who co-wrote the original CHILD'S PLAY (which gave me recurring nightmares), directed CHILD'S PLAY 2 (the scariest/best film in the series), and also helmed the wonderfully bonkers and oft-overlooked MAN'S BEST FRIEND. #rip pic.twitter.com/K4O1BGk1S7
— William Bibbiani (@WilliamBibbiani) May 2, 2020
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. pic.twitter.com/yI9u4sS4Sd
— Jason Scott: Hey All You Cool Cats + Kittens! (@JasontheScott) May 2, 2020
John believed in me when many people did not. And, it is thanks to John that I met the love of my life. Sir, you will be very missed, and you are loved. May you find what you are looking for ???????? Thank you ???????? / #johnlafia, Espero sepas cuanto te queríamos ???? Descansa en Paz pic.twitter.com/XgFmwgjXA9
— Katie Barberi (@katiebarberi) May 3, 2020
Dec 2018 in my kitchen. So sorry to report that John Lafia – director of Child’s Play 2 – took his own life this week. Don Mancini said – “Devastated by this news. John was a crucial part of the Chucky family from the very beginning. He co-wrote the or… https://t.co/TcbI6GEbiQ pic.twitter.com/3d1Q2dOFjw
— Christine Elise (@celisemccarthy) May 2, 2020
Sad to learn that John Lafia, one of the writers of Chucky (Child’s Play/ Sw: Onda Dockan), has passed at 63 following depression. That scary doll has nothing on that horrendous thing .-(
— Mikael Pawlo ???? (@mpawlo) May 2, 2020
If this news is hard for you, know you are not alone — and there is help for people who feel suicidal. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.