As Torgo was intended to be a satyr, Reynolds and Tom Neyman designed the rigging that Reynolds wore under his trousers. This rig was made of wire coat hangers and foam. Unfortunately, Reynolds wore it backwards, and no one bothered to correct the mistake. The rig was very painful for Reynolds to wear, and caused permanent damage to his kneecaps. The painful rig also caused Reynolds to become addicted to painkillers. Jackie Neyman Jones - who played Debbie in the film - said she only later realized the reason Reynolds was so much fun on the set was because he was high most of the time.
Tragically, Reynolds committed suicide after production was completed on the film, shortly before the film was released. With the movie being screened on MST3K Reynolds became known to new generations of fans. In 1998 there was an effort to get a star for him on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - while the effort failed Reynolds wife was grateful for the effort.
- Updated Edit* Unfortunately a lot of different stories have been passed around over the years and has led to a lot of mis-information. If you refer to Jackey Raye Neyman-Jones blog (she played the part of Debbie) she clears up the myths that have floated for far too long.
http://debbiesmanos.blogspot.ca/2012/10/john-reynoldstorgo-story-i.html http://debbiesmanos.blogspot.ca/2013/10/john-reynolds-as-torgo.html The leg braces were built by Tom Neyman and were actually worn the way they were supposed to. They were uncomfortable, but did not cause him harm. He was never addicted to any pain killers. John was a very shy and withdrawn man, but took a lot of recreational drugs and was high most of the time on the set (which is pretty evident in the film). He took his life shortly after the films completion, but it was due to depression with situations in his personal life. John was also never married.