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.
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.
Tributes poured in for the film director, writer and producer over social media as news of his death spread.
Craven's first feature was the controversial shocker The Last House on the Left, which he wrote, directed an edited in 1972. He followed with the blackly comic The Hills Have Eyes and Swamp Thing, an early entry in the comic book genre.
He wrote and directed A Nightmare on Elm Street, with Johnny Depp, in 1984. The surreal slasher film is credited with having started the "rubber reality" style of 1980s horror filmmakers.
Serpent and the Rainbow, in 1988, was based on non-fiction book about voodoo.
Craven tried his hand at non-horror fare between Scream 2 and Scream 3 with Music of the Heart in 1999, for which Meryl Streep was Oscar-nommed for best actress. He also wrote a novel, 'The Fountain Society', that year.
He mixed it up again with 2005 psychological thriller Red Eye and with a romantic comedy segment in Paris Je T'aime, then produced remakes of his earlier films The Hills Have Eyes and The Last House on the Left.
In the 1990s he pioneered the meta horror movie with film-within-a-film Wes Craven's New Nightmare, then followed with Scream in 1996. The film sparked three more installments and grossed more than US$100 million. Starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, it became a cultural phenomenon and inspired the "Scary Movie" spoof series.
Craven was awarded lifetime achievement awards by the New York City Horror Film Festival and the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.