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

Legend... Stephen King among those paying tribute to the late George A Romero- Credit AP

Legend... Stephen King among those paying tribute to the late George A Romero- Credit AP

Absolutely heartbreaking news as George A. Romero, the godfather of zombie films, has passed away at age 77.

Romero, the legendary director who made his mark on the world with the Zombie film genre, has died.

Beyond the Night of the Dead franchise, Romero also directed The Crazies, Season of the Witch, and Creepshow, all of which were not as transformative of the genre as his zombie series, but were praised for their own contributions.

Romero was well known for his classic "Night of the Living Dead". He is survived by wife Suzanne Desrocher Romero, daughter Tina Romero, and son Andrew Romero.

Romero was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1940. He started out shooting commercials and once directed a segment of "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood".

Rest in peace, sir. All of his "dead" films up to that point had been filmed in Pittsburgh, Penn., which became Romero's adopted home after he moved there for college after being born in NY.

His work was the inspiration to a number of later filmmakers such as Edgar Wright, who shot to fame in 2004 with zombie parody "Shaun of the Dead" starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. A couple of other movies languished in art houses, and box office success eluded him until he again dug up the zombie theme, this time for 1978's "Dawn On The Dead".

All of the movies were shot in or around Pittsburgh, where Romero had attended Carnegie-Mellon University after moving away from his hometown NY where he was born in 1940 to a Cuban father and a Lithuanian-American mother. The rest of his zombie films include Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2004), Diary of the Dead (2007), and Survival of the Dead (2009).

The filmmaker followed up Night of the Living Dead, which tragically fell into the public domain just a few years after release due to a copyright error on the film's prints, with There's Always Vanilla, his only romantic comedy.

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