The master of zombie films George Romero passes away in his sleep at age 77

Image by IMDB, Warner Brothers

A sad moment for fans, friends, and family of George A. Romero as he passes away at age 77.

On the morning of July 16, Romero died in his sleep following a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer”, according to a statement by his longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald.

In Toronto, Canada, Romero reportedly died while listening to the score of one of his favorite films, The Quiet Man, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero, at his side.

George Andrew Romero was born in the Bronx, in New York City, on 4 February 1940, to a Cuban father and a Lithuanian-American mother. He began his filmmaking career as a commercial director before finding his niche in horror. Indelibly associated with the zombie movie, he came to be seen as a master of the entire genre.

He was a producer, writer, director, actor, editor, cinematographer, and a lot more. He was best known for the movies: Night of the living dead, Dawn of the dead, and Day of the dead.

In a 2014 interview with NPR, Romero said he “never expected” his career to be defined by zombies. “All I did was I took them out of ‘exotica’ and I made them the neighbors,” he said; pointing to the success of his uncanny and chilling films that used terrifying effects, makeup and cuts to satirise consumerism, racism and other social horrors.

The movies and TV shows that have taken their cues from Romero’s work — “World War Z,” “28 Days Later,” “Shaun of the Dead” — seem almost too numerous to count. And though the popularity of something like “The Walking Dead” would seem to be a compliment to Romero, he once called that hit tv series “a soap opera with a zombie occasionally.”

Rest in Peace, master of zombie films.