George A. Romero, Night of the Living Dead director, has died aged 77

RIP to the zombie horror master .

George A. Romero, the influential US filmmaker who created the Living Dead movie franchise, has died aged 77.

In a statement to the LA Times, Romero’s longtime producing partner Peter Grunwald said the director died in his sleep on Sunday (July 16) after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer.”

Night the Living Dead, which Romero co-wrote and directed, was released in 1968 and was the first horror film to feature cannibalistic zombies. The low-budget movie spawned both a cult classic and a genre-defining series zombie films, ten with a sociopolitical message, including Dawn the Dead (1978), Day the Dead (1985), Land the Dead (2005), Diary the Dead (2007) and 2009’s Survival the Dead.

Romero went on to direct other films including the 1971 romantic comedy There’s Always Vanilla, 1978 vampire film Martin and 1982 Stephen King adaptation Creepshow.

Romero’s family said he died with his wife Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero at his side while listening to the score “one his all-time favorite films” – John Ford’s The Quiet Man.

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