Master of the slasher horror film Wes Craven dies aged 76
Wes Craven, master of the slasher horror flick and who directed 'A Nightmare on Elm Street', died on Sunday afternoon, according to his family. He was 76.
Craven brought to life some of Hollywood's most feared monsters, such as Freddy Krueger, but also showed a deft touch in sending up entire the teen horror genre with the 'Scream' horror series, which packed cinemas.
He died at his Los Angeles home surrounded by close friends and relatives after suffering from brain cancer, said the statement.
"It is with deep sadness we inform you that Wes Craven passed away," the family said. "Our hearts are broken."
He had suffered failing health during the past three years, but continued to work on projects including television shows, a graphic novel and a new film, 'The Girl in the Photographs', which is due to premiere at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival next month.
But he will be best remembered for 1984's 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' - featuring a then unknown Johnny Depp - and its central character, Freddy Krueger, whose badly burned face populated the nightmares of a generation of cinemagoers.
In 1996 Craven released 'Scream', starring 'Friends' actress Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell and David Arquette.
The movie went on to have several sequels and is cited as having reinvented the teen horror genre.
Tributes poured in for the film director, writer and producer over social media as news of his death spread.
'Scream 2' star Sarah Michelle Gellar said: "I had the great privilege of working with Wes Craven, one of the kindest, most gentle souls, who made great scary films. RIP Wes Craven.".