It’s sometimes easy to forget just how many people it takes to bring movies to life, and we often tend to recognize only those we can see in front of the camera. But the unsung heroes of filmmaking are those who work behind the scenes, and we’ve just lost one of the greats.

Make-Up Magazine reports the sad news today that effects artist N. Brock Winkless IV passed away on July 18th in Los Angeles, at the young age of 56. Winkless had suffered from a neurological condition for many years, and he died as a result of complications from the condition.

Brock Winkless

Brock Winkless got his start on the set of Child’s Play, working alongside Chucky designer Kevin Yagher. Winkless was a part of the mechanical crew in charge of puppeting the Chucky doll, and his particular skill was lipsyncing the doll’s mouth and jaw movements.

Winkless was a puppeteer not just for the original film but also Child’s Play 2, Child’s Play 3, and Seed of Chucky. He was also the puppeteer for the Crypt Keeper on many episodes of HBO’s Tales from the Crypt, performing the same duty for the movie Bordello of Blood.

Brock Winkless

Other films on Winkless’ resume include Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Children of the Corn 3: Urban Harvest, Alien 3, Casper, Congo, and The X-Files.

Sometimes the kindest of people are struck with hardship and suffering. I ask myself ‘Why … why them?’ Brock Winkless was one of those,” said Kevin Yagher. “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.”
Brock Winkless
To learn more about the life and career of Brock Winkless, we encourage you to join the Facebook group For the Love of Brock – where friends and family are currently sharing photos and memories of the beloved effects artist. The group is public, and open to all fans.