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George Romero, the creator of the zombie film, dies at 77

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Romero directed the cult classic ‘Night of the Living Dead’ in 1968

George Romero (Courtesy of twitter)

American-Canadian filmmaker George Romero, best known for his ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and other horror films about the imagined zombie apocalypse, has died on Sunday following a battle with lung cancer. He was 77.

“Legendry filmmaker George A. Romero passed away on Sunday, July 16, listening to the score of The Quiet Man, one of his all-time favorite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero at his side,” the filmmaker’s manager Chris Roe said in a Facebookpost. “He died peacefully in his sleep, following a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer, and leaves behind a loving family, many friends, and a filmmaking legacy that has endured, and will continue to endure, the test of time.”

Romero was born in New York City to a Cuban-born father and a Lithuanian American mother. After graduating from university, he began his career shooting short films and commercials. He formed Image Ten Productions in the late 1960s and produced and directed the cult classic ‘Night of the Living Dead’ for $114,000 in 1968.

It was a defining moment for modern horror drama and defined the nature of zombies – they move slowly, lust for human flesh and can only be killed when shot in the head.

In 1978, Romero made another cult classic movie in the zombie genre, Dawn of the Dead and it earned over $55 million worldwide. The third movie in the series was 1985’s Day of the Dead.

Apart from the Dead series, his works include The Crazies (1973), Martin (1978), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988) and The Dark Half (1993). Romero also had a cameo appearance in Jonathan Demme’s Oscar winning The Silence of the Lambs in 1991.

Romero, who lived in Toronto, directed the fourth movie in the Dead series in that city, Land of the Dead, which was released on June 24, 2005, by Universal Pictures and it received positive reviews.

His last film as a director was 2009’s Survival of the Dead and the city Pittsburg, which has been called the Zombie Capital of the World’ is still a popular destination of his fans.