Belfast Telegraph

Godfather of horror Wes Craven dies aged 76

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

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

A prolific writer, director and editor, Craven 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.

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

Craven's family said in a statement that he died at his Los Angeles home after battling brain cancer.

"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," said Scream 2 star Sarah Michelle Gellar.

His Nightmare on Elm Street movies, featuring one of horror's most iconic characters Freddy Krueger, propelled him to fame.

The first, released in 1984, starred a then unknown Johnny Depp.

In 1996 he 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'.

Cox paid tribute on social media, writing: "Today the world lost a great man, my friend and mentor, Wes Craven. My heart goes out to his family."

Bridesmaids director Paul Feig wrote: "RIP Wes Craven. You were one of a kind. Thanks for all the years of scares and fun."

Actor Jamie Kennedy said he would have had "no career if it were not for Wes Craven".

"Thank you for believing in me and giving me a chance," he wrote.

What's Love Got To Do With It star Angela Bassett wrote: "He was a kind and generous soul as well as possessing a wicked sense of humour. I feel blessed to have worked with him. He always invited me to the table, and for that I am grateful."

Craven also directed the 1999 drama, Music of the Heart, which earned Meryl Streep an Oscar nomination.

Craven was married to producer Iya Labunka, and is survived by her, a son, a daughter and a stepdaughter.

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