Sunday was a dark day for the horror genre, as “Night of the Living Dead” writer/director George A. Romero died at age 77. His longtime production partner, Peter Grunwald, revealed that Romero passed away July 16 “peacefully in his sleep” after “a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer.” Grunwald added that Romero died while listening to the score of “The Quiet Man,” one of his favorite films, with his wife Suzanne Desrocher Romero and daughter Tina Romero at his side.
Romero was called the father of modern horror films — and he did direct some non-zombie horror like Stephen King’s “Creepshow” — but he was best known for birthing the modern zombie craze, including the original “Dawn of the Dead” and the “Living Dead” series that continued up to 2009’s “Survival of the Dead” and the graphic novel “Empire of the Dead.”
Directors, writers, and stars who worked with or were influenced by Romero took to social media to post tributes:
Sad to hear my favorite collaborator–and good old friend–George Romero has died. George, there will never be another like you.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 16, 2017
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.
— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) July 16, 2017
Wrote this on the late, great George Romero, to whom I owe a film career. https://t.co/eSaKaRndDCpic.twitter.com/UPMZn3WRrD
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) July 17, 2017
I just wrote this on Facebook concerning the passing of George Romero, but I thought I’d share it here as well. 💔 pic.twitter.com/r1qKM6GSka
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 16, 2017
The world has lost a master. Thank you for the inspiration. You changed my life with your art. You will be missed. #georgeromero#dotd
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) July 17, 2017
A fond farewell to charming, legendary zombie king George Romero. ‘Martin’ is one of my favourite horrors. An honour to have met him. RIP pic.twitter.com/8ZIwjxFrmx
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) July 16, 2017
Here’s to the great George Romero, the man who started it all! A true legend and a huge inspiration. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/Vl3TP46L0W
— Robert Rodriguez (@Rodriguez) July 16, 2017
RIP George Romero. He might be back.
— marc maron (@marcmaron) July 17, 2017
Yes, it would be fitting if he returned as the first real-life zombie. Until then, rest in peace.
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