Nightmare on Elm Street director Wes Craven has died aged 76

Wes Craven, whose Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream movies and his Freddy’s Nightmares TV series made him one of the most recognisable names in the horror film genre, has died. He was 76.

His family said in a statement that he died at his Los Angeles home on Sunday after battling brain cancer.

Wes Craven in London in 2005 (Steve Parsons/PA Archive/PA Images)

Wes Craven in London in 2005 (Steve Parsons/PA)

A prolific writer, director and editor, Wes was 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 led to several sequels, as did his 1996 movie Scream, starring Courteney Cox.

Besides his work in horror films, Wes also directed the drama Music of the Heart, which earned Meryl Streep an Oscar nomination.

Wes is survived by his wife, producer Iya Labunka, a son, a daughter and a stepdaughter.

A host of celebrities have paid tribute to the director on Twitter:

“Today the world lost a great man, my friend and mentor, Wes Craven. My heart goes out to his family. x”

#EvanRachelWould (@evanrachelwood) August 31, 2015 “I just drove someone past the house where they filmed #nightmareonelmst, then came home to the news about @wescraven. Sad and eerie.”

scott foley (@scottkfoley) August 31, 2015 “We lost a legend. Thank you @wescraven for your films and your friendship.”

James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 31, 2015 “Heartbroken about the loss of Wes Craven. He was an incredible inspiration as a director and, more so, a very kind man.”

KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) August 31, 2015 “He directed me in Scream3 and I directed him in J&SB. Fare thee well horror-Gretzky WES CRAVEN. Talented, good guy.” 

Adam Shankman (@adammshankman) August 31, 2015 “RIP #WesCraven. Thank you for entrusting the knife to me in Scream 2. I got to play the Ghost faced…

Sarah Michelle (@SarahMGellar) August 31, 2015“I had the great privilege of working with #WesCraven one of the kindest most gentle souls, who made great scary films. #RIPWesCraven

rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) August 31, 2015 “Thank you for being the kindest man, the gentlest man, and one of the smartest men I’ve known. Please say there’s a plot twist. #wescraven