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Wes Craven, master of horror, dies aged 76 after battle with cancer

By Staff Reporter

Published 01/09/2015

Freddy Krueger, Wes Craven’s best known character from the smash hit movie Nightmare on Elm Street
Freddy Krueger, Wes Craven’s best known character from the smash hit movie Nightmare on Elm Street
Wes Craven

Film director 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 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. A pioneer of the slasher genre, Craven once said of his work: "Horror films don't create fear. They release it." 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.

He wrote, directed and edited his first feature film, The Last House on the Left, in 1972. A horror about the abduction of teenage girls, it was censored in many countries. Despite this, it became a box office hit that launched his career.

He had more recently signed deals to develop a series of television programmes, including the new Scream series, for MTV.

He had also been working on a graphic horror novel series. Craven is survived by his wife, producer Iya Labunka, a son, a daughter and a stepdaughter.

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