George A. Romero died in his sleep today after what his longtime producing partner called a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer.” His wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero, were by his side and he was listening to the score to The Quiet Man, a 1952 John Wayne film he loved.
Romero is the genius behind the horror classics Night of the Living Dead (1968), The Crazies (1973), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Creepshow (1982), Day of the Dead (1985), Night of the Living Dead (1990), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Crazies (2010) among many others.
Fellow horror genre mastermind John Carpenter once described what makes Romero’s films so good. Carpenter said, “Monsters in movies are us, always us, one way or the other. They’re us with hats on. The zombies in George Romero’s movies are us. They’re hungry. Monsters are us, the dangerous parts of us. The part that wants to destroy. The part of us with the reptile brain. The part of us that’s vicious and cruel. We express these in our stories as these monsters out there.”
He is being remembered as a horror legend:
Sad to hear my favorite collaborator–and good old friend–George Romero has died. George, there will never be another like you.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 16, 2017
RIP George Romero. A true visionary and horror icon. Godspeed. #ripgeorgeromero
— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) July 16, 2017
George Romero was truly an innovator in his field. He and his gruesome stories shall be missed. #RIP
— Sammy Paul (@ICOEPR) July 16, 2017
I feel like the most fitting tribute for George Romero would be to say "RIP for now."
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) July 16, 2017
Rest in peace, friend.