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Breaking News :Horror maestro Wes Craven dead at 76 of brain cancer

Horror maestro Wes Craven dead at 76 of brain cancer.

Prolific horror filmmaker Wes Craven, who directed the slasher classic A
Nightmare on Elm Street, died on Sunday afternoon, his family said in a
statement. He was 76.

Craven, who was also behind the 1990s horror hit Scream, died

surrounded by his loved ones at his Los Angeles home after suffering from brain

cancer, the statement said.

"It is with deep sadness we inform you that Wes Craven passed away," the

family said. "Our hearts are broken."

Craven suffered from ailing health over the past three years, but 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.

Craven, born in Cleveland, shot to fame, at least among horror film fans,

with his first feature in 1972, The Last House on the Left, which has

achieved cult classic status over the decades. He moved into film work after

spending a few years as a college professor.

Other horror films also now deemed classics quickly followed, including

The Hills Have Eyes and Swamp Thing. But it was with 1984's

hit A Nightmare on Elm Street that Craven rose to the top of the genre.

The film, which cost less than $2 million US, starred Robert Englund as

Freddy Kruger, a clawed villain who torments a group of youths through their

dreams, was a box office bonanza and spawned eight sequels, as well as a

television series and novels.

In 1996, he struck box office gold again with Scream, another

teens-in-peril slasher film which also satirized the genre. Craven directed

three more Scream films over the next 15 years.

Craven was awarded lifetime achievement awards by the New York City Horror

Film Festival and the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films,

according to the Internet Movie Database.

Wes Craven is flanked in a 2011 photo in Hollywood by

Scream actresses Courteney Cox, left, and Canadian Neve Campbell, second from

right, as well as his wife Iya Labunka, right. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Craven occasionally stepped outside of the genre, directing Meryl Streep in

Music of the Heart and also helming the airplane thriller with Rachel

McAdams, Red Eye. In addition to making cameos in several of his own

movies, he was also comfortable with his reputation as a horror maestro,

appearing in an episode of Castle and in the movie Jay and Silent
Bob Strike Back.

In 2000, he published his first novel, The Fountain Society.

Craven, according to the Associated Press, is survived by his wife, producer

Iya Labunka, a son, a daughter and a stepdaughter.

Tributes quickly poured in for the film director, writer and producer over

social media as news of his death spread.

"Today the world lost a great man, my friend and mentor, Wes Craven. My heart

goes out to his family," actress Courteney Cox, who starred in Craven's 1996

Scream and appeared in the franchise's three subsequent films, posted

on Twitter.

Actress Rose McGowan, who was also featured in the original Scream,

said on Twitter: "Shedding tears now. A giant has left us."

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