Film Pioneer George A. Romero Has Died
The ‘Night of the Living Dead’ director was 77
The zombie genre, on both the small and big screen, has become a staple in Hollywood over the last 40 years. Either you or someone you know is probably a raging Walking Dead head, or has at least thrown two game tokens in an arcade and enjoyed the video game equivalent. The entertainment world has George A. Romero to thank for that—the legendary director and filmmaker passed away today at the age of 77. He died in his sleep, having succumbed to his battle with lung cancer.
Romero—a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University that got an early start behind the camera doing work for Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood—directed Night of the Living Dead, a film with a budget of less than $120,000 that became an international sensation after its 1968 release, giving both Romero and the zombie genre a permanent place in cinema. He didn’t stop there, experiencing immense success with the first sequel, 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, which grossed over $50 million, and Day of the Dead, which dropped in 1985. Romero was also responsible for adaptation of Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe work—Creepshow and The Dark Half respectively—and eventually released a lesser known fourth installment of Dead, Land of the Dead, in 2005.
A statement posted to Romero’s Twitter reads, “We deeply regret the death of our beloved father George A. Romero. Thank you all fans for your love and for following the path of our father.” Romero is remembered fondly as a godfather of modern horror, and a pioneer in the film world for his ability to layer social commentary into seemingly unrelated content.