Brock Winkless, as he was known to his friends and colleagues, died July 18 in Los Angeles at age 56. He was a beloved figure in shops and sets in Hollywood. His kindness and gentle demeanor were surpassed by his refreshing sense of humor and his talent, not only as a mechanical designer and fabricator, but as a performer and puppeteer. He was one of the few people who understood and excelled at lipsyncing a puppet’s mouth and jaw movements, which made him invaluable for projects such as the Child’s Play series, as well as the Crypt Keeper character from the Tales from the Crypt television show.
He collaborated with some of the best artists in motion picture make-up and effects including Dave Nelson and Norman Tempia’s AnimatedFX Inc., Rick Baker’s Cinovation Studios and the Stan Winston Studio. However he is probably best known for his association with make-up artist/director Kevin Yagher. Said Yagher: “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.”
Winkless had 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. Details about his memorial will be announced as soon as they are available.
Winkless’ friends and colleagues can join the public Facebook group For the Love of Brock to share stories and photos. All are welcome.