On Sunday, horror movie icon George A. Romero died after a battle with lung cancer, surrounded by his family.
Now, With his creative flame extinguished, many of his friends, colleagues and admirers are paying tribute to the beloved director, and sharing the ways in which his career and legacy impacted their own lives.
Horror author Stephen King — who worked with Romero several times over the years, including their collaboration on the cult classic Creepshow in 1982 and The Dark Half in 1993 — took to Twitter to share a few words of love for his friend.
“Sad to hear my favorite collaborator–and good old friend–George Romero has died,” King wrote. “George, there will never be another like you.”
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
In 1968, Romero released the revolutionary horror film Night of the Living Dead. Aside from essentially launching the mega-popular zombie film genre, the black-and-white classic was notable for featuring Duane Jones, a black actor, as the main protagonist of the story.
At the time, it was incredibly uncommon for a black actor to play the hero in U.S. cinema, especially as the lead of an otherwise all-white cast. Romero said at the time that Jones was simply the best choice and actor for the role.
Comedian and director Jordan Peele — who recently became the first black writer-director to have a debut project break the $100 million mark at the box office with his horror thriller, Get Out — paid tribute to Romero and his landmark casting choice.
“Romero started it,” Peele tweeted, alongside a photo of Jones from Night of the Living Dead.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn took to Facebook to share a lengthy message thanking Romero for creating films that changed the way Gunn thought of movies and Hollywood when he was young.
“Seeing Night of the Living Dead as a child not only scared the living hell out of me, and made me forever jump at creepy children, but it was so incredibly DIY I realized movies were not something that belonged solely to the elites with multiple millions of dollars but could also be created by US, the people who simply loved them, who lived in Missouri, as I did, or Pennsylvania, as you did, or anywhere,” Gunn wrote.
“I picked up an eight millimeter camera, mixed some Karo syrup with some red food dye to make blood, and began making movies – specifically, having my one brother eat my other brother onscreen, alive. I was eleven. That was the first moment of my film career, and it was spurned on because of you,” he added. “Thank you, George, for being a part of my life for a long, long time, in so many different ways. Rest in Peace.”
RIP #GeorgeRomero. You made me want to make movies, and helped me to find meaning in monsters. Thank you. I love you.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 16, 2017
Check out more tributes, memorials and memories below.
George Romero was a great director, the father of modern horror movies. He was my friend and I will miss him. Rest in peace, George.
— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) July 16, 2017
R.I.P. George Romero. A true legend. Started a new genre on his own. Who else can claim that?
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) July 16, 2017
SAD YET SOMEHOW FITTING GEORGE ROMERO’S INFLUENCE ON STORYTELLING NOW GNAWS AT US FROM THE GRAVE – THANK YOU, MR. ROMERO AND REST IN PEACE pic.twitter.com/H9OjBcwz0c
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) July 16, 2017
Rest In Peace George Romero. A great artist, innovator and creator . He changed everything.
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) July 16, 2017
George Romero, RIP. Eat God’s brains.
— Doug Benson (@DougBenson) July 16, 2017
RIP George Romero. Zombies, yes. But…go watch MARTIN. Teenage isolation mutated into vampirism. Online culture as plague.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) July 16, 2017
Most horror directors work IN the genre. George Romero created a genre. Every zombie show / movie you know owes Romero some credit.
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) July 16, 2017
The world has lost a master. Thank you for the inspiration. You changed my life with your art. You will be missed. #georgeromero #dotd
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) July 17, 2017
Bad news is George Romero died. Good news is he probably won’t stay dead for long.
— Jim Norton (@JimNorton) July 16, 2017
A fond farewell to charming, legendary zombie king George Romero. ‘Martin’ is one of my favourite horrors. An honour to have met him. RIP pic.twitter.com/8ZIwjxFrmx
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) July 16, 2017
George Romero was an icon who created a cinematic universe of loosely affiliated sequels forty years before that was a thing
RIP to a genius
— Max Landis (@Uptomyknees) July 16, 2017
Just heard the news about George Romero. Hard to quantify how much he inspired me & what he did for cinema. Condolences to his family. ❤️
— Eli Roth (@eliroth) July 16, 2017
Romero’s manager, Chris Roe, told ET in a statement on Sunday that the filmmaker died “listening to the score of The Quiet Man, one of his all-time favorite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero at his side. He died peacefully in his sleep, following a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer, and leaves behind a loving family, many friends, and a filmmaking legacy that has endured, and will continue to endure, the test of time.”
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