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George Romero (1940 - 2017)

Getty / Wireimage / Albert L. Ortega

George Romero (1940 - 2017)

George Romero, the director of the zombie classic “Night of the Living Dead,” has died, according to multiple news sources. He was 77.

The director, who had lung cancer, died in his sleep, according to a statement from his manager Chris Roe.

“Legendary 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,” wrote Roe. “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.”

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Romero was known as the Godfather of the Zombie Movie. The 1968 cult classic horror film was made in Pittsburgh on a budget of $114,000. Romero and his friends financed the picture with their own money.

Romero made a series of movies following “Night of the Living Dead” such as “The Crazies” in 1973. None of them did as well with the critics.

In 1978, he went back to the Zombie theme with the movie “Dawn of the Dead,” which grossed more than $55 million. He did more Zombie movies throughout his career including “Day of the Dead.”

Romero also wrote comic books and was involved in producing video games.

The director was born in the Bronx in 1940. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. He started out shooting commercials and once directed a segment of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

He is survived by his wife Suzanne and two children.

Many in Hollywood paid tribute to the director.

Stephen King: ”Sad to hear my favorite collaborator--and good old friend--George Romero has died. George, there will never be another like you.”

John Carpenter: ”George Romero was a great director, the father of modern horror movies. He was my friend and I will miss him. Rest in peace, George.”

Joss Whedon: “No one mined the zombie metaphor like Romero. (After he invented it.) No one has come close. RIP & thank you to a Great Film Artist.”

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