Renfield Rehnquist was a nationally famous ventriloquist and collector of ventriloquist dummies in the 1990s. However, while being interviewed by a reporter on national TV in 1994, he was persuaded to put on his oldest dummy, Little Vladdy. He was immediately possessed by the vampire dummy, which went on to kill the reporter, the cameraman, and the van driver, before the boom operator finally chopped off his left arm and freed him from the vampire puppet's control.
Renfield lost a great deal of blood from his severed arm, and went brain-dead three times on the operating table before he was finally saved. After he recovered, he was confined to the John Seward Home for the Criminally Insane. Driven insane by the experience of his possession and blood loss, he would only communicate through ventriloquism (miming a puppet's mouth movements with his thumb and hand, since he was not allowed an actual dummy).
Renfield was visited by the Middleman and Wendy Watson while they were attempting to track down Vladdy. He informed the heroes that Vladdy would try to find his love, Elizabeth Rousset, and resume human form.