ByAmy Martin, writer at
Amy Martin

Thirty years ago today, Wes Craven's 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' was released in American cinemas, and from then on has become one of the most famous horror films ever made. The film was so successful that it spawned 5 sequels, 2 spin-offs and a 2010 remake - and I highly doubt we've seen the last of Freddy yet!

Along with 'Halloween' and 'Friday the 13th', A Nightmare on Elm Street started off one of the three most successful and popular 'slasher' movie franchises to date, and there's really no surprise. The idea of Freddy killing victims in their sleep was just so new and fresh, and completely revitalized the horror genre in the mid eighties, as everyone has to sleep....eventually!

So where are the cast now, and what have they starred in since A Nightmare On Elm Street? Find out below!

Heather Langenkamp (Nancy Thompson)

Besides 'A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors' (1987) and 'Wes Craven's New Nightmare' in 1994, Heather Langenkamp has made an appearance in five other separate films, one of which being Wes Craven's 'Shocker'. Heather has also appeared in the documentaries 'I am Nancy' and 'Never Sleep Again, the Elm Street Legacy' - which by the way is a brilliant documentary, and I would highly advise it for any die hard Elm Street fans!

Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger)

Robert on the other hand has starred in well over 30 movies excluding the Elm Street franchise, along with countless documentaries, a web series called 'Fear Clinic' (plus the new Fear Clinic movie coming out this year), and has been to so many fan conventions it's just not funny. Robert's most recent movie was a psychological thriller named 'The Last Showing', which I actually found to be a rather fun film, despite the reviews.

Johnny Depp (Glen Lantz)

As I'm sure the majority of people know, Johnny Depp rocketed into stardom in the years following his acting debut on A Nightmare on Elm Street, and is now widely known as one of the most versatile actors ever. Depp has appeared in a large range of films since 1984, such as 'Pirates of the Caribbean', Alice in Wonderland, Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, Corpse Bride, Ed Wood, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Platoon, and many, many more!

Jsu Garcia (Rod Lane)

Jsu Garcia has appeared in a number of films since 1984, with the most well known of those being 'Along Came Polly', Spiritual Warriors, Collateral Damage and Candyman 3. Jsu has worked alongside some big names in the film industry over the past 30 years, such as Jennifer Aniston, Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many more.

John Saxon (Donald Thompson)

John Saxon had been in a fair few films previous to 1984, with his most famous being 'Enter the Dragon' with Bruce Lee. Over a 60 year career John has worked on over 200 projects, with his most recent being the documentary 'Never Sleep Again, The Elm Street Legacy' in 2010.

Amanda Wyss (Tina Grey)

To this date Tina Grey has been Amanda's most well known role, but she has also starred in several lower budget films in the past 30 years. Amanda is rumored to be starring in an upcoming horror flick titled 'The Survivors' next year, so fingers crossed!


- Jackie Earle Haley originally auditioned for the role of Glen, and his good friend Johnny Depp accompanied him. Jackie didn't get the role, but Depp was spotted by director Wes Craven, who asked him if he would be interested in the part. Jackie Haley then got to play the role of Freddy in the 2010 remake!

- The very first time Robert Englund tried on the now infamous bladed glove, he cut himself.

- The success of the film saved New Line Cinema from bankruptcy, and was then jokingly nicknamed 'The House That Freddy Built'.

- Both Tina and Glen's death scenes were filmed in the same rotating set.

- During Glen's death scene, hundreds of gallons of fake blood was poured from the ceiling, but unfortunately over-weighed the set, turning it over and soaking most of the crew and equipment. Because of this, director Wes Craven had to use the first shot they took.

- Despite being the main villain, Freddy has less than seven minutes of screen time!

- The first time we see Freddy (in the opening scene) the character is being played by special effects artist Charles Belardinelli. Reason being is that Belardinelli was the only one who knew exactly how to cut the glove and insert the blades.

- The entire film was shot in 30 days!

So there you have it! Still going strong 30 years on, A Nightmare on Elm Street is what I (and many others) consider to be one of the best horror/slasher flicks ever made. As far as I'm concerned, this film will be enjoyed by audiences both young and old for decades to come, as the franchise has truly cemented itself in horror film history.

How many times have YOU seen 'A Nightmare on Elm Street', and will you be watching it tonight to celebrate the 30th anniversary? Let me know in the comments section below!


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