Wes Craven, Horror Writer and Director, Dead at 76

Wes Craven
Writer Wes Craven arrives at the The Hollywood Reporter Academy Awards nominee party in Los Angeles February 24, 2011. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Wes Craven, the horror movie legend best known for launching the Nightmare on Elm Street series as well as directing every Scream movie, has died at 76.

Craven died at home in Los Angeles. The cause of death was brain cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The news was confirmed by Craven's own official Twitter account.

Craven helped define the modern slasher movie, beginning with 1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street, which he both wrote and directed. A massive box office success, that movie spawned eight sequels and made the horror genre into a major commercial success.

Craven enjoyed similar success a decade later with the Scream trilogy, which began with 1996's Scream. His other directing credits include The Last House on the Left (1972), The Hills Have Eyes (1977) and the more recent My Soul to Take (2010).

A large range of stars tweeted their respects to the man who likely terrified them as children:

Craven is survived by his wife, Iya Labunka, who has been a producer on his films.