Writer/producer/director John Fasano, best known for his work in the horror genre, died in his sleep Saturday night at the age of 52, his attorney Craig Baumgarten confirmed. No cause of death was available.

Fasano was nominated for a Writers Guild Award in 1996 for writing the teleplay for The Hunchback for TNT. He also had a hand in more than 40 other film and TV projects, including writing the hit Tom Selleck TV movie Stone Cold, Iraq war TV docudramas Saving Jessica Lynch and The Hunt for Saddam, and films including Alien 3, Meggido: The Omega Code 2, Darkness Falls and Another 48 Hours. Fasano also worked as a script doctor and screenwriting guest lecturer at AFI and the Writer’s Boot Camp. He was president of the screenwriting seminar at the Sony/Canal+ Equinoxe screenwriting seminar in France. He produced and directed several independent films, typically in the horror genre, including Rock ‘n’ Roll NightmareBlack Roses and The Jitters, all released in the 1980s.

John Fasano with friend at mealFasano, who was born Aug.24, 1961, had his first taste of filmmaking when his father, a friend of director John Cassavetes, brought him along on a visit to the set of Husbands, according to a frequently quoted story in articles about him. In high school, he worked on industrial films for IBM and other companies, and graduated from SUNY-Purchase with a degree in film. He initially worked as an editor or freelance editor for a variety of specialty magazines, but his work creating posters for exploitation films led to a break from producer Jack Bravman, who hired him to direct a low-budget horror film called Zombie Nightmare. After selling the script to Tailgunners to Morgan Creek, he moved to Los Angeles. In 1990, he founded a production company called Thoughts in the Margin.

His projects also ranged well beyond film and TV, including creating and writing Woke Up Dead, a digital series for Sony’s Crackle site featuring Jon Heder. He co-wrote with Roni Keller the book Evie and the Golem, published in 20122He also wrote frequently about firearms for magazines such as Combat Tactics and American Handgunner, and was known as a prolific designer of Halloween masks. Fasano is survived by his wife, Edie, his children, Lucia and Jon Carlos, and his sister, Felicia, who is a casting director.