Larry Cohen, Writer-Director of 'It's Alive' and 'Hell Up in Harlem,' Dies at 77

He thrived making low-budget horror and blaxploitation films after creating the 1960s TV series 'Branded' and 'The Invaders.'

Larry Cohen, the avant-garde writer and director who made his mark in the horror and blaxploitation genres with such innovative cult classics as It's Alive, God Told Me To, Black Caesar and Hell Up in Harlem, has died. He was 77.

Cohen died Saturday night in Los Angeles surrounded by loved ones, his friend, actor and publicist Shade Rupe, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The older brother of late Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen — she got her start promoting his early films — Cohen began his career by writing for television in the late 1950s, and he created the Chuck Connors-starring Branded for NBC and the cult sci-fi drama The Invaders, starring Roy Thinnes, for ABC.