The Film Doctor team send our love to the family, friends and spirit of George A. Romero, famed for writing and directing Night of the Living Dead, who has died aged 77 of lung cancer.
The Dawn of the Dead director was listening to the score of 1952’s “The Quiet Man” – one of his favourites – with wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero, when he died, said the family.
Born to a Lithuanian-American mother and Cuban father in New York in 1940, Romero started making films aged 14 before with an 8mm camera before attending Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
The filmmaker then shot short films and commercials after graduating – even working as a pageboy on Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959) – before launching his feature film career with 1968 zombie horror Night of the Living Dead which he co-wrote with John A. Russo and financed with friends.
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
Each filmmaker put approximately $10,000 (£7, 630) into the film under the name Image Ten Productions.
The movie was so monumental it went onto spawn a whole franchise including Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead.
RIP #GeorgeRomero. You made me want to make movies, and helped me to find meaning in monsters. Thank you. I love you.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 16, 2017
Romero also adapted the work of internationally acclaimed horror author Stephen King with Creepshow (1982) and The Dark Half (1993) and had Dawn of the Dead remade by Batman Vs Superman director Zack Snyder.
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
A string of Hollywood stars, including Guillermo del Toro, Stephen King, Max Landis, Mark Gatiss and Greg Nicotero have flooded Twitter with outpourings of praise and emotion after hearing the news.
Romero has passed away. Hard to find words right now. The loss is so enormous.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) July 16, 2017
"I don't think you need to spend $40 million to be creepy. The best horror films are the ones that are much less endowed," Romero once said.
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