Horror legend Wes Craven, 76, passed away at his Los Angeles home on Sunday, Aug. 30 after losing his battle with brain cancer. He is survived by his wife, producer and former Disney Studios vice president Iya Labunka; sister Carol Buhrow, son Jonathan Craven, daughter Jessica Craven, stepdaughter Nina Tarnawsky and three grandchildren.

Craven became famous with his horror genre-bending hit A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). He was inspired after living next to a cemetery on a street of that name in the Cleveland suburbs. The movie spawned numerous sequels and prequels, and provided breakout roles for Johnny Depp and Robert Englund.

It took 4 hours to put all the make-up and rubber on for the face of Freddy Krueger. #30YearsofNightmare

A photo posted by Wes Craven (@therealwescraven) on

He also directed horror classics The Last House on the Left (1972), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), The People Under the Stairs (1991) and all four Scream movies (1996-2011). At the time of his death, he had several television projects in development and was executive producing the new MTV Scream series. He had recently created a comic series with Steve Niles called Coming of Rage.

Robert Englund watches make-up effects supervisor Kevin Yagher painting a dummy of Freddy Krueger | Photo courtesy of Michael Key
Robert Englund watches make-up effects supervisor Kevin Yagher painting a dummy of Freddy Krueger | Photo courtesy of Michael Key

Throughout his impressive career, Craven worked with many make-up effects artists including Howard Berger, Kevin Yagher, David B. Miller, Matthew Mungle, Steven Johnson and Greg Nicotero.

David B. Miller turning Robert Englund into Freddy Krueger on the set of A Nightmare on Elm Street | Photo courtesy of Michael Key
David B. Miller turning Robert Englund into Freddy Krueger on the set of A Nightmare on Elm Street | Photo courtesy of Michael Key

Berger saluted his friend, “Wes was a brilliant filmmaker, wonderful collaborator and good friend to KNB EFX for decades. Our first film with Wes was People Under The Stairs, where he trusted and allowed us to come up with some really fun makeups and effects. I recall no matter how crazy it was while shooting long hours, everyone enjoyed being on set with him. Wes was an avid crossword puzzle fan, and he would hand out puzzles to crew members to work on in-between set ups. It was funny to look around at everyone with their heads down, scribbling away trying to solve the puzzle of the day during down time. Wes will be greatly missed for all he brought to our industry and most of all his friendship.”

Even off set, Craven inspired others. His last Twitter post showcased his character.

Social media has been alive with tributes and memories to the late director since the news of his death.