George Andrew Romero, the legendary creator of the Night Of The Living Dead zombie film franchise, has died from complications from lung cancer. He was 77.
Romero passed away in his sleep at his Toronto home on Sunday, listening to his favorite film score from 1952’s The Quiet Man, surrounded by his wife Suzanne and daughter Tina, his family confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. His death came following a ‘brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer, his family said.
Romero wrote and directed the 1968 film Night Of The Living Dead, a cult classic credited with launching the modern zombie genre. Romero went on to make a slew of sequels, including 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 Survival of the Dead. Born in The Bronx on February 4, 1940 to a Cuban father and Lithuanian mother, Romero graduated from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University and began his career as a filmmaker shooting commercials and short films. One of his earliest jobs was a short segment for the popular children’s show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.