Wes Craven, the director of iconic horror films such as "Scream" and the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series, has died aged 76, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Craven, whose Freddie Kruger character likely kept children awake at night around the globe, had battled cancer, his family told the industry news source on Sunday.

He presided over eight "Nightmare on Elm Street" films, and in the 1980s directed some episodes of the revival "Twilight Zone" series.

The Ohio native, who once taught English, had a graduate degree in philosophy and writing.