Wes Craven, the prolific writer-director who thrilled audiences with iconic and bloody suburban slashers like “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream” that made his name synonymous with horror, has died. He was 76.
In a statement, Craven’s family said that he died in his Los Angeles home Sunday, surrounded by family, after battling brain cancer.
A prolific writer, director and editor, Craven is credited with reinventing the teen horror genre with the 1984 release of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” starring a then-unknown Johnny Depp. The movie and its indelible, razor-fingered villain Freddy Krueger (played by Robert Englund) led to several sequels, as did his 1996 success, “Scream.”
Besides his work in horror films, Craven also directed the drama “Music of the Heart,” which earned Meryl Streep an Oscar nomination.