Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Romero, Night of the Living Dead director, has died aged 77

Romero, Night of the Living Dead director, has died aged 77

Romero, who co-wrote and directed 1968's Night of the Living Dead, is often credited with founding the zombie genre.

Romero, the Night of the Living Dead director who arguably invented the modern zombie movie, has passed away at the age of 77 from lung cancer.

The statement was from Romero's producing partner Peter Grunwald and Romero's family also confirmed the filmmaker's death which occurred in his sleep after a battle with lung cancer.

Author Stephen King made his screenwriting debut with the 1982 horror anthology Creepshow, directed by Romero. "A lot of people owe George a huge debt of gratitude for the inspiration", the 43-year-old said.

Romero embraced the horror and zombie genres throughout his legendary career and he eventually put out three more films in the "dead" franchise including "Land of the Dead", "Diary of the Dead" and "Survival of the Dead".

Among those to have cited Romero as a key influence are The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, fellow horror filmmaker John Carpenter and Cornetto trilogy director Edgar Wright. Mr. Romero had not meant to address that climate in the film, but with Duane Jones, a black man, as the lead, it was impossible to ignore the connection, Mr. Romero told NPR in a 2014 interview.

Rest in peace, George. Upon graduating in 1960, he began directing short films and commercials, including one particularly memorable segment for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood which found the titular star undergoing a tonsillectomy.

Romero was born in New York City in 1940. He was with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher, and his daughter Tina Romero when he passed away.

Of the recent proliferation of zombie movies, he told TIME: "I don't rush out to see those films".

If you are not familiar with Romero's name, then you will have surely heard of his work.

Speaking to the Associated Press almost a decade ago, Romero spoke of why he loved the genre: "The zombies, they could be anything", he said "They could be an avalanche, they could be a hurricane". He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University.

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