Renowned film director Wes Craven died on Aug. 30 due to brain cancer. He was 76 years old. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news on Sunday.
Director Wes Craven has passed away.
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Craven died in Los Angeles due to brain cancer. He was 76 years old. HollywoodReporter.com's Duane Byrge first reported the news on Aug. 30.
Craven moved to Martha's Vineyard in 2012. He relocated to Los Angeles due to career and health reasons, per Byrge.
Director Jason Blum is also the CEO of Blumhouse Productions. He sent an email to The Los Angeles Times' Josh Rottenberg on Sunday. It paid tribute to Craven:
"The horror community suffered a big blow with the passing of Wes Craven. Talk about a true pioneer. All of his movies pushed the genre forward because they had something thoughtful to say, whether it was about the Vietnam War, teenage angst, abuse or class warfare.
"He gave us movies with meaning and big scares. It is hard to do that once or twice; it's basically impossible to do it as often as Wes did. He constantly reinvented himself and the genre and left an indeilble mark on multiple decades of film and multiple generations of horror fans.
"Thank you for everything and rest in peace."
He was born on Aug. 2, 1939 in Cleveland. He earned a double major in English and psychology from Wheaton College. He later earned a masters degree in philosophy, per HollywoodReporter.com.
Unknown to many, Craven first started out as a teacher.
He was an English professor at Westminster College. He also taught humanities at Clarkson College, per Byrge.
His first movie came out in 1972. He entitled it "The Last House on the Left." It had a budget of $90,000, per Rottenberg.
Craven told The Los Angeles Times in 2010 he had zero knowledge of directing in 1972.
"I didn't know a thing about directing," he said. "I staged it like a documentary because the year or two I learned the basics of film, I worked in a building that had mostly mostly documetary filmmakers."
His next big movie attraction was "The Hills Have Eyes" in 1977, per HollywoodReporter.com.
His "Nightmare On Elm Street" movies took him to the next level. The first installment came out in 1984, per Byrge.
He used to live in a street with that name in Cleveland, Oh. That street was adjacent to a cemetery. It inspired Craven to come up with the movie series title, per HollywoodReporter.com.
He conceptualized and co-wrote "Nightmare on Elm Street III." He was not a part of the other sequels. He later wrote and directed "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" in 1995, per Byrge.
His "Scream" movie series also drew worldwide acclaim. Two installments of that film made more than $100 million, per Byrge.
Craven explored the drama genre with "Music of the Heart" in 1999. Meryl Streep portrayed a Harlem teacher. She earned an Academy award nomination, per HollywoodReporter.com.
That same year, Craven wrote his first novel. He entitled it "The Fountain Society," per Byrge.
He produced remakes of his first two movies several years later. The one for "The Last House on the Left" came out in 2006. His "The Hills Have Eyes" remake came out in 2009, per HollywoodReporter.com.
Craven wrote and directed "My Soul to Take" in 2010. It was the last film he directed, per Byrge.
He discovered Johnny Depp during an audition for "Nightmare on Elm Street." He also gave Sharon Stone and Bruce Willis their first big breaks. He gave Stone her first starring role in "Deadly Blessing." He gave Willis a lead role in "The Twilight Zone" series, per HollywoodReporter.com.
Craven leaves behind his third wife, Iya Labunka. She is a producer. She is also the former vice president of Disney Studios, per Byrge.
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He also leaves his sister Carol, son Jonathan, daughter Jessica, grandchildren Miles, Max and Myra-Jean and stepdaughter Nina, per HollywoodReporter.com.