Horror movie maestro GEORGE A. ROMERO has died, aged 77.
The director of the 1968 zombie classic Night of the Living Dead lost his battle with lung cancer.
His producing partner Peter Grunwald tells the Los Angeles Times newspaper Romero died on Sunday (16Jul17) with his wife Suzanne Desrocher Romero and daughter Tina Romero by his side.
The legendary filmmaker became known as the king of zombie movies, following his 1968 hit up with sequels Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, and 2007’s Diary of the Dead.
Twitter tributes began to pour in after news of the director’s death hit the headlines.
Actor and writer Kumail Nanjiani called him “a true legend”, adding, “(He) started a new genre on his own. Who else can claim that?”, while writer/director Ted Geoghegan called Dawn of the Dead “one of the greatest films in the history of cinema”, adding, “We were so much richer for having Romero in our lives.”
The Secret Life of Dogs writer Brian Lynch joked: “You were a genius, and I look forward to your inevitable return.”
There was also a passionate response to the news from filmmaker Eli Roth, who wrote: “Romero used genre to confront racism 50 years ago. He always had diverse casts, with Duane Jones as the heroic star of NOTLD (Night of the Living Dead).
“Very few others in cinema were taking such risks. He was both ahead of his time and exactly what cinema needed at that time… You can trace a direct line from NOTLD to (Jordan Peele’s acclaimed film) Get Out. And… Romero created the modern zombie. The infectious bite. Shoot the head. Everything.”
Author Stephen King also paid tribute to the late moviemaker, adding: “Sad to hear my favorite collaborator – and good old friend – George Romero has died. George, there will never be another like you.”
Romero and King worked together on 1982 movie Creepshow.