George A. Romero, master of horror and the godfather of the zombie genre, has passed away following a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” the Los Angeles Times reports. In a statement from his longtime producing partner Peter Grunwald. the 77-year-old filmmaker died peacefully with his family while listening to the score of 1952’s film The Quiet Man.
Romero’s impact on the horror genre and indie filmmaking will never be understated. 1968’s Night of the Living Dead has been a touchstone of the horror genre, and his deeply satirical follow-ups in Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead paved the way for the massive popularity of The Walking Dead and others.