George Romero, the man who co-wrote and directed the classic zombie horror movie Night of the Living Dead died Sunday of lung cancer, according to the Los Angeles Times.
1968’s Night of the Living Dead
By GabboT (George Romaro) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
was Romero’s first film, focusing on five people hiding out in a farmhouse from wandering flesh-eating undead – who were never called zombies. According to Wikipedia, it was originally planned as a horror comedy, but it was criticized upon its release for its heavy gore, which included shots of the undead eating people, and of the lead character being shot in the head when he is mistaken for a zombie. The movie was made for just over $100,000 and earned an estimated $30 million worldwide.
Romero directed five additional Living Dead films. In 1999, the original was selected by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry.
In 2009, Spike TV honored Romero with a Mastermind Award at its Scream Awards, dedicated to horror, sci-fi and fantasy films.
Romero’s longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald, told the Times that Romero died with his family by his side, while listening to the score of one of his favorite films, The Quiet Man.