Sunday, July 16, 2017

George A. Romero, 'Night of the Living Dead' creator, dies at 77



Legendary horror movie director George A. Romero, pictured here in 2008, died Sunday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero, father of the modern movie zombie and creator of the groundbreaking "Night of the Living Dead" franchise, has died at 77, his family said.

Romero died Sunday in his sleep following a "brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer," according to a statement to The Times provided by his longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald. Romero died while listening to the score of one his favorite films, 1952's "The Quiet Man," with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero, at his side, the family said.

Romero jump-started the zombie genre as the co-writer (with John A. Russo) and director of the 1968 movie "Night of the Living Dead," which went to show future generations of filmmakers such as Tobe Hooper and John Carpenter that generating big scares didn't require big budgets. "Living Dead" spawned an entire school of zombie knockoffs, and Romero's sequels included 1978's "Dawn of the Dead," 1985's "Day of the Dead," 1990's "Land of the Dead," 2007's "Diary of the Dead" and 2009's "George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead."

The original film, since colorized, has become a Halloween TV staple. It also has earned socio-political points for the casting of a black actor in the lead role.




Director George Romero is known for his zombie films, most notably "Night of the Living Dead."

Romero wrote or directed projects outside of the "Living Dead" franchise too, including 1973's "The Crazies," 1981's "Knightriders" and episodes of the 1970s TV documentary "The Winners." His last credit as a writer was for his characters' appearance in 2017's "Day of the Dead" from director Hèctor Hernández Vicens.

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