Fans mourned the death Sunday of legendary filmmaker George A. Romero, father of the modern movie zombie and creator of the groundbreaking “Night of the Living Dead” franchise.
Romero died Sunday in his sleep at age 77 following a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” according to a statement to The Los Angeles 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.”
As news of his death broke, fans on Sunday recalled the impact of Romero’s films and mourned his passing in online comments.
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The Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.