Acclaimed Horror Director Wes Craven Has Died: 'Today the World Lost a Great Man'

The director of Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street died of brain cancer

Photo: Richard Drew/AP

Wes Craven, the acclaimed writer-director of A Nightmare of Elm Street and Scream, died Sunday after a battle with brain cancer, according to the Hollywood Reporter. He was 76.

Craven’s family told the trade weekly that he died in his Los Angeles home.

The director, who was born in Cleveland, was best known for his work in horror movies and for creating the iconic Freddy Krueger and Ghostface characters. His projects often made references to other horror films, and he is credited with defining – and then redefining – the genre.

In April, Syfy announced that it would be developing two new horror shows with Craven – a reworking of his 1991 movie The People Under the Stairs and another project called We Are All Completely Fine. He was also developing a show for Universal Cable Productions called Disciples.

Celebrities paid tribute to Craven after his death was announced, including Courteney Cox, who portrayed Gale Weathers in the Scream series.

Academy Award nominee Ronee Blakley, who starred as Marge Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street, remembered Craven as “one of the great auteurs of our time” in a statement to PEOPLE:

“I am shocked and saddened to hear we have lost Wes, one of the great auteurs of our time, the man responsible for the billion dollar A Nightmare On Elm Street franchise and the now classic catch phrase, ‘Don’t Ever Fall Asleep.’ Condolences to his family, friends, fans, and my co-stars.”

Oscar-nominated composer Marco Beltrami fondly remember Craven in a statement to PEOPLE, whom he worked with on Scream.

“I was very saddened to hear the tragic news,” Beltrami said. “Wes Craven gave me my first break in the film scoring business with his movie Scream and really acted as a mentor in the early part of my career. His calm, quiet confidence inspired me to explore ideas that I probably wouldn t have otherwise, and he taught me the psychological role that music plays in manipulating an audience.

“I feel his influence on every film I work on, and when I’m in a bind I often say to myself, ‘What would Wes tell me at this point?’ For me, Wes Craven’s presence is eternal.”

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