May 3 (UPI) -- John Lafia, a musician, screenwriter and filmmaker known for his work on the Child's Play horror franchise, has died, his family said. He was 63.
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office told Variety the cause was suicide.
Deadline.com said he hanged himself in his basement.
"It is with great sadness we announce that loving father, film and television writer, director, producer and musician John J. Lafia passed away on Wednesday," Lafia's family said in a statement.
His longtime friend and collaborator Don Mancini tweeted out photos of them -- and the demonic doll Chucky -- from the Child's Play sets.
"RIP @JohnLafia LOVE YOU ALWAYS," Mancini tweeted.
"We're devastated to hear of the passing of our friend John Lafia," Mancini said in a longer statement.
"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 film-making 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's other credits include The Blue Iguana, Space Raiders, Repo Man, Man's Best Friend, The Rats and Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone.