Horror film master Wes Craven was reported dead on Sunday after a long fight with brain cancer. The famed director, born in 1939, was 76 years old. The news was announced by his family, and he is survived by his current wife Iya Labunka, a producer and former vice president of Disney Studios, and his children, Jonathan and Jessica, from his marriage to Bonnie Broecker.
Craven was known for having films that featured strong female lead characters and a brutal depiction of violence. He began his directorial career with the 1972 film The Last House on the Left (he also served as producer on the 2009 remake). He touched on comic book heroes with his take on Swamp Thing in 1982, and two years later introduced one of horror’s most iconic characters in Freddy Krueger with the film A Nightmare on Elm Street. That film spawned four sequels before Craven returned to Krueger and Nancy (played by Heather Langenkamp) in New Nightmare. In 1994 Craven introduced theatergoers to Ghost -face in Scream, which played up the “rules” for surviving a horror movie. This time Craven directed all the sequels in the franchise, the last one being Scream 4 in 2011.
Craven also dabbled on the small screen, directing five episodes for the revamped Twilight Zone series that ran in the mid 80s. He also directed an episode for a show called Nightmare Cafe in 1992, where he was also an executive producer. His most recent work was acting as producer for the Scream television series.
Wes Craven was one of the major filmmakers who leaves behind a lasting impression on the horror genre. His talents will be missed.
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