Influential and immensely talented horror master Wes Craven lost his battle with brain cancer, on August 30, 2015. He was 76.
Horror fans praised Craven as one of the most recognizable and beloved filmmakers of all time. 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 and again revitalizing horror with 1996's Scream. The film's tongue-in-cheek dialog both parodied and paid homage to the genre giving it new life. However, long before those box office hits, Craven cemented his status as an influential writer and director of exploitation films with movies like The Last House on the Left (1972), The Hills Have Eyes (1977) Swamp Thing (1982) and The People Under the Stairs (1991). Besides his work in horror films, Craven also directed the drama Music of the Heart, which earned Meryl Streep an Oscar nomination.
Stars and fans alike are tweeting about the loss
Craven was born in 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in a strict Baptist family. Though he earned a Master’s Degree in philosophy and writing from John Hopkins University and briefly taught as a college professor in Pennsylvania and New York, he abandoned academia for cinema, and began creating chilling films that questioned the nature of everyday existence. Craven is survived by his wife, producer Iya Labunka, his son Jonathan, daughter Jessica.