Famed horror film director George A. Romero died on Sunday, July 16 in Toronto. The New York Times cited a Romero family statement as saying he died after “a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer.” Mr. Romero was 77.
George Romero, who was best known for his cult film, “Night of the Living Dead,” inspired enthusiasts of the horror movies and single-handedly created the genre of “zombie films.” The film, which was released in 1968, was made for roughly $100,000. While zombies are everywhere these days (“The Walking Dead” franchise), it was Mr. Romero who brought them to the big screen. In an interview with NPR from 2014, he said, “In my work, [it’s] usually the humans that are the worst. … I have a soft spot in my heart for the zombies.”
George Romero, who grew up in the Bronx as a fan of classic Hollywood monsters, went to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, graduating in 1960. The New York Times reported that he studied graphic arts and learned the film business “working on the sets of movies.” The Times also reports that Mr. Romero “felt the need to move beyond zombies after “Zombieland” came out in 2009.
“All of a sudden came ‘Zombieland,’” he said, which was one of the first zombie films to become a major blockbuster hit. “You know, gosh, all of a sudden, you can’t make a little zombie film anymore,” he said.