N. Brock Winkless IV, the puppeteer who brought Chucky to life in a total of four “Child's Play” films, has died at the age of 56. According to MakeupMag.com, Winkless suffered from a “debilitating neurological condition that caused him rising levels of discomfort and lack of muscular control for more than 15 years. He died as the result of complications due to that condition.”
Though he wasn't well-known outside the horror and special effects communities, Winkless helped bring a number of well-known characters to life, from Chucky to the Cryptkeeper to Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” MakeupMag notes that he particularly excelled at syncing up a puppet's “mouth and jaw movements” in order to make their “delivery” of dialogue appear more realistic. His other credits included “Alien 3,” “Death Becomes Her,” “Casper,” “Congo” and “The X Files, and his most frequent collaborator was special makeup effects designer Kevin Yagher, who had this to say of his former colleague:
“Sometimes the kindest of people are struck with hardship and suffering. I ask myself ‘Why … why them?” Brock Winkless was one of those. Not only a man of many talents, he was a soft-spoken, thoughtful and gentle human being with a unique sense of humor. It was simply my utmost pleasure and an absolute honor to know him. I know that everyone who knew Brock will miss him dearly. May God bless Brock Winkless. I love you, brother.”
Below I've embedded a few photos of Brock with his creations, along with a fascinating video of him operating Meryl Streep's puppet on the set of “Death Becomes Her.” May he rest in peace.