(August 2, 1939 – August 30, 2015)
Wesley Earl “Wes” Craven was an American film director, writer, producer, and actor known for his work on horror films, particularly slasher films. He was best known for creating the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise featuring the Freddy Krueger character, directing the first installment and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, and co-writing A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors with Bruce Wagner.
Craven also directed all four films in the Scream series, and co-created the Ghostface character. Some of his other films include The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left, Red Eye and My Soul to Take.
Craven’s first marriage to Bonnie Broecker produced two children: Jonathan Craven (born 1965) and Jessica Craven (born 1968). Jonathan is a writer and director. Jessica was a singer/songwriter in the group the Chapin Sisters. The marriage ended in 1970. In 1982, Craven married Millicent Eleanor Meyer. However, the two divorced. Craven stated in interviews that the marriage dissolved after he discovered it “was no longer anything but a sham”. In 2004, Craven married Iya Labunka; she frequently worked as a producer on Craven’s films.
Craven was a birder; in 2010, he joined Audubon California’s Board of Directors. His favorite films included Night of the Living Dead (1968), The Virgin Spring (1960) and Red River (1948).
On August 30, 2015, Craven died of brain cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He was 76 years old. The 10th episode of Scream will be dedicated in his memory.