Producers & Directors, US

How Rich is Wes Craven?

Name: Wesley Earl “Wes” Craven
Born: August 2, 1939
Occupation: Film director, producer, writer, actor

Director Wes Craven, 2010. Photo: Bob Bekian
Director Wes Craven, 2010. Photo: Bob Bekian

Born in Cleveland, Ohio to parents Paul and Caroline, Wes Craven didn’t initially set to have a career in the film industry. He initially attended Wheaton College where he earned his undergraduate degrees in both psychology and English. From there, he went on to Johns Hopkins University to earn his masters degrees in writing and philosophy. He then spent time teaching English and humanities classes at both Westminster College and Clarkson University, respectively.

Believe it or not, Craven was raised in a very strict Baptist household. He wasn’t allowed to see a lot of movies and most that he did see were Disney creations. It might surprise some to learn he produced a series of X-rated films under a pseudonym before making his own debut in the film world.

Of course, his debut was a hit. The famous director wrote and directed The Last House on the Left, which was released in 1972. He’s spent the majority of his career focused on horror and slasher movies like The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Vampire in Brooklyn, and Scream. He has, on occasion, successfully broken away from the horror genre to focus on dramas like Music of the Heart and Red Eye, which were relative successful departures from the norm.

Craven is currently married to third wife, Iya Labunka, who can often be found working as a producer on his film sets. He’s recently written a graphic novel and has earned dozens of awards for his writing, editing, production, and direction work. His most recent television appearance was as a cameo of himself on Castle earlier this year. Wes Craven’s net worth is currently estimated at $40 million.

How much is $40 million, really?

Believe it or not, Iya and Wes both enjoy birds and bird watching. Craven plays a role on the board of directors for Audubon California. Wouldn’t it be cool if they took a chunk of that change to open an animal sanctuary or bird refuge? Forty million is also enough to buy 13,333,333 bags of $3 bird food – plenty to ensure everyone is able to feed the birds for a little while!


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