According to a statement released by the family 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.
Tributes from his peers are coming in as they wake up to the news:
George, along with writer John Russo, was the pioneering founding father of the Zombie Genre and his legacy cannot be understated. In this reviewers opinion, in spite of the recent trends, improvements to special effects and increases to budgets from major studios, his films are second to none.
One of the things that always defined Romero’s creatures and set his apart from the imitators for me was that his ambling zombies always seemed to have a back story. It was told in their costumes, by the way they moved and the injuries they may have carried. In the small amount of screen time each of them had you could gather from one shot who they might have been and how they met their end. It was something I believe most modern directors within the genre just do not get.
When asked to comment on the depiction of Zombies in recent times Romero told the LA Times:
“They’re just dervishes, you don’t recognize any of them, there’s nothing to characterize them…. [But] I like to give even incidental zombies a bit of identification. I just think it’s a nice reminder that they’re us. They walked out of one life and into this.”
You cannot beat the original and the best Night of the Living Dead from 1968. Ahead of it’s time for so many reasons it should also be noted that Romero cast a black actor in Duane Jones as the lead for that film which, at that time, was incredibly ground breaking.
The man was an innovator and inspiration to many. RIP George, thanks for the great movies, as a fan I feel lucky to have been alive at the same time and see your work.