Wes Craven, the man who gave us a “Scream” over the last three decades, passed away Sunday after battling brain cancer. According to his family via The Hollywood Reporter, he died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 76.
The writer/director is known for his reputation as a master of horror thanks to the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise with Robert Englund as Freddy Kruger, the ultimate boogeyman. The 1984 original, which starred Heather Langenkemp and John Saxon, launched the career of Johnny Depp, who played Glen, the boyfriend of heroine Nancy Thompson (Langenkemp).
In the mid-1990s, Wes revived the horror genre alongside writer Kevin Williamson with “Scream,” launching the film careers of Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox, both of whom were already well-known on television thanks to FOX’s “Party of Five” and NBC’s “Friends.”
The 1996 film, which co-starred Drew Barrymore, Matthew Lillard, Jaime Kennedy, Skeet Ulrich, Rose McGowan and David Arquette, was a blockbuster hit that led to three sequels and an MTV series. Not only that, “Scream” led to the resurgence of horror films such as 1997’s “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” the 1998 sequel “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer,” and 1998’s “Urban Legend.”
Craven’s other credits includes 1991’s “The People Under the Stairs” and 1999’s “Music of the Heart,” in which Meryl Streep received an Oscar nomination for her role as real-life violinist turned music teacher Roberta Guaspari.
Wes is survived by his third wife Labunka, sister Carol, son Jonathan, daughter Jessica and step-daughter Nina, and grandchildren Miles, Max, and Myra-Jean.