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George Romero, Horror Icon and ‘Night of the Living Dead’ Director, Dies at 77

The beloved auteur had a "brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer."

George A. Romero

Onorati/Epa/REX/Shutterstock

George A. Romero has died at age 77 after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” according to a statement provided to the Los Angeles Times. Almost singlehandedly responsible for the zombie genre in its current form, Romero directed “Night of the Living Dead” and its many sequels, most notably the consumerism allegory “Dawn of the Dead” and “Day of the Dead,” the underrated entry he considered his favorite.

In a recent interview with IndieWire, Romero discussed his latest project in great detail: “Road of the Dead,” a sort of “Mad Max”–inspired tale of automotive zombies that he was producing but not directing. Romero and director Matt Birman were headed to the Fantasia International Film Festival to secure financing. “I’ve had a terrific run,” he said during the conversation — one that unfortunately didn’t last much longer.

Beyond the “Dead” franchise, Romero also helmed such films as “Knightriders” and the cult classics “Martin” and “The Crazies.” Born February 4, 1940 in the Bronx, Romero is survived by his wife Suzanne Desrocher and his three children.

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