American horror film director Wes Craven, creator of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, has died aged 76. US media reports that Craven died at his Los Angeles home on Sunday from brain cancer.
Craven wrote and directed A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. His Scream franchise was reported to have grossed more than $100m (£65m) in the US.
He wrote, directed and edited his first film, The Last House on the Left, in 1972. A tweet from his Twitter account featured a picture of him with the dates 1939-2015.
Craven was credited with reinventing the teen horror genre when the first film featuring Freddy Krueger was released in 1984 starring a then-unknown Johnny Depp. He had more recently signed deals to develop television programmes, including the new Scream series for MTV. He had also been working on a graphic horror novel series.
Reflecting on his career, he once said in an interview: “I tried to make movies where I can honestly say I haven’t seen that before and to follow my deepest intuitions and in some cases literally my dreams.”
Actors posted tributes on social media including actress Courtney Cox, who starred in Craven’s 1996 Scream and appeared in the franchise’s three subsequent films. She said: “Today the world lost a great man, my friend and mentor, Wes Craven. My heart goes out to his family. x”
Rose McGowan, who also featured in the original Scream, said: “Thank you for being the kindest man, the gentlest man, and one of the smartest men I’ve known. Please say there’s a plot twist.”