Hollywood is mourning the loss of two of its greats. George A. Romero, the legendary filmmaker behind the 1968 zombie cult classic “Night of the Living Dead”, died at the age of 77 after a battle with lung cancer, while Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau passed away at 89 following hospitalization.
Romero’s manager, Chris Roe, has confirmed that the filmmaker died on Sunday, July 16 in his sleep while listening to the score of one of his favorite films, “The Quiet Man”, with his wife Suzanne Desrocher Romero and daughter Tina Romero.
The filmmaker had 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,” Roe has said in a statement. Roe calls Romero “a gentle giant and one of the kindest and most giving human beings I’ve ever known or had the pleasure to work with.”
Meanwhile, Landau, whose credits include Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest”, Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood” and “Cleopatra”, died Saturday at UCLA Medical Center after a short hospitalization where he suffered unexpected complications, according to TMZ. He is survived by two daughters, writer-producer-casting director Susan Landau Finch and actress Juliet Landau, a sister and a granddaughter.
Author Stephen King and director James Gunn were among those who paid tribute to Romero via social media. The 69-year-old author, who made his screenwriting debut with the 1982 horror anthology “Creepshow” directed by Romero, tweeted, “Sad to hear my favorite collaborator–and good old friend–George Romero has died. George, there will never be another like you.”