George A. Romero, the writer-director who made the cult classic zombie films Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, died on Sunday, July 16, at the age of 77.
The legendary horror filmmaker died in his sleep on Sunday following a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer. Romero shot to fame with the 1968 movie Night of the Living Dead, which he made on the tiny budget of USD 114,000.
Due to a copyright error, he and his fellow investors didn’t make any money on the film that quickly became a late-night staple in cinemas, and later TV, around the world.
The Bronx-born director created the sequel, Dawn of the Dead, in 1978, which like many of his films was shot in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he went to college. It was made for just USD 500,000 and went on to earn more than USD 55 million worldwide. He directed a third zombie movie in 1985 with Day of the Dead.
Romero’s other films include 1981’s Knightriders and the 1982 hit Creepshow, which was written by Stephen King.
The director updated his original Night of the Living Dead screenplay and executive produced the 1990 remake, and directed a fourth zombie movie, Land of the Dead, in Toronto in 2005. Another sequel, Diary of the Dead, came in 2007 and Survival of the Dead surfaced two years later.