George A. Romero, father of the zombie film, is dead at 77

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Director George A. Romero addresses the audience at the Night of the Living Dead World Premiere of Restored Print during the To Save and Project: The 14th MOMA International Festival of Film Preservation at MOMA on November 5, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for Museum of Modern Art, Department of Film)

NEW YORK (AP) — George Romero, whose classic “Night of the Living Dead” and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and who saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages, has died. He was 77.

Romero died Sunday following a battle with lung cancer, said his family in a statement provided by his manager Chris Roe. Romero’s family said he died while listening to the score of “The Quiet Man,” one of his favorite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher, and daughter, Tina Romero, by this side.

Romero is credited with reinventing the movie zombie with his directorial debut, the 1968 cult classic, “Night of the Living Dead.” The movie set the rules imitators lived by.

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