Horror king of Hollywood, Wes Craven, known for Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street, died on Sunday afternoon after a three-year-long battle with brain cancer, his family said in a statement. He was 76. Craven is survived by his wife, producer and former Disney Studios vice president Iya Labunka.
The prolific writer, director and editor, who horrified fans for years with the iconic Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984) character, died at his home in Los Angeles home surrounded by his loved ones. "It is with deep sadness we inform you that Wes Craven passed away. Our hearts are broken." the family said. Besides his work in horror films, Craven also directed the drama Music of the Heart, which earned Meryl Streep an Oscar nomination.
Freddy Krueger, one of the scariest characters from Craven's films.
"Today the world lost a great man, my friend and mentor, Wes Craven. My heart goes out to his family," actor Courtney Cox, who starred in Craven's 1996 Scream and appeared in the franchise's three subsequent films, posted on Twitter.
Today the world lost a great man, my friend and mentor, Wes Craven. My heart goes out to his family. x— Courteney Cox (@CourteneyCox) August 31, 2015
Actor Rose McGowan, who was also featured in the original Scream, said on Twitter: "Shedding tears now. A giant has left us."
Wes Craven debuted in 1972 with his first feature film The Last House of the Left which he wrote, edited and directed. Tracking the story of criminals who land in the middle of gruesome revenge drama when they seek refuge in a vacation home belonging to parents of a young woman they had brutally assualted.
Despite his health conditions, Craven continued to work on projects including several television shows, a graphic novel and a new film, The Girl in the Photographs, which is set to premiere at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival next month. Caven's TV adaptation of his hit franchise Screams (1991), went on air this June. Caven was also working on an adaptation of The People Under the Stairs as well as Daryl Gregory's 2014 novel We Are All Completely Fine.
He was awarded lifetime achievement awards by the New York City Horror Film Festival and the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, according to the Internet Movie Database.
With inputs from Reuters and AP