The co-writer of iconic horror films Child’s Play and Child’s Play 2 died by suicide April 29 at his LA home, according to Variety.
Lafia’s collaborator Don Mancini said he was ‘devastated’ to learn of the news in a statement issues by Lafia’s family.
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.’
Born in 1957, Lafia studied film at UCLA, receiving a BFA in Motion Picture and Television.
His first major film credit was on 1988’s The Blue Iguana. He wrote and directed the Dylan McDermott-fronted action film, also producing the soundtrack.
The film was officially selected for a midnight showing at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival.
He had box-office success with 1993’s Man’s Best Friend. The sci-fi movie, which he wrote and directed, debuted at number two.
In addition to his film credits, Lafia wrote, directed and produced the TV mini-series 10.5. He directed the series Freddy’s Nightmares as well as the TV movie The Rats.
He even ventured into video games, directing the live-action footage for 1994’s Corpse Killer.
Lafia’s last project was 2006’s Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, a TV film starring Scott Foley and Richard Burgi.
He released his passion project The Ballad Of Frank And Cora in 2012, writing, directing, shooting and editing the musical drama in addition to co-producing the soundtrack with musician Bill Jones.
The filmmaker also had an ear for music, with roots in LA’s underground music scene in the 80s. One of his last projects in life was the double album John Lafia 1980-1985, which he released last year. He composed and recorded the LP himself.
Lafia is survived by his children, Tess and Kane, and his former wife Beverly.