George A. Romero, a true legend of Hollywood, has went silently into the night while battling lung cancer at the age of 77.

Romero is best known for creating the epic zombie movie, Night of the Living Dead, and turning that old black and white film into a zombie craze that's lasted decades. In fact, we're still watching them now every time The Walking Dead comes on and Carl's hat doesn't fall off.

Romero died Sunday in his sleep after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” according to a family statement to The Times provided by his longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald. He was 77.

Romero died while listening to the score of one his favorite films, 1952’s “The Quiet Man,” with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero, at his side, the family said.

Romero will be remembered best for co-writing (with John A. Russo) and directing “Night of the Living Dead,” which showed later generations of filmmakers such as Tobe Hooper and John Carpenter that generating big scares didn’t require big budgets. “Living Dead” spawned an entire school of zombie knockoffs, and Romero’s own sequels were 1978’s “Dawn of the Dead,” 1985’s “Day of the Dead,” 2005’s “Land of the Dead,” 2007’s “Diary of the Dead” and 2009’s “George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead.”

Night of the Living Dead, if you watched it now, is almost a funny movie. Think about what it was like to watch that movie in 1968 when it was released. I bet people were shaking in their shoes and scared to go outside. I bet someone heard a rustle of leaves in the fall and it scared them!

Night of the Living Dead was an independent movie shot on a low budget. A low budget today is in the millions. A low budget in the 60's may have topped around $100,000. In fact, this movie was actually made with a budget of $114,000. It later went on to gross $12 million domestic and $18 million internationally. If that isn't quite the turnaround you expected, then I don't know what is. Talk about taking something so small, on a tiny budget, and then turning it into millions!

That's pure brilliance.

George A. Romero will be missed. It's always sad when an icon and legend leaves us reeling and playing back those old gems.

Mr. Romero's influence on Hollywood production has lasted decades and won't ever go away. He is forever an amazing influence on zombie films and always will be.

Thank you, George.

Posted on July 17, 2017 in Entertainment and filed under celebrity, George Romero, zombies.
Source: latimes, en, en