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FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 21, 2008 file photo, director and writer George Romero poses for a photograph while talking about his film "Diary of the Dead' at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. 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, July 16, 2017 following a battle with lung cancer. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

George Romero, the 'Night of the Living Dead' creator, has died at 77


Legendary filmmaker, George Romero, who is best known for being the father of the modern zombie movie has died of lung cancer at the age of 77.

The horror-film director died in his sleep, according to a statement NBC obtained from Romero's manager, Chris Roe.

"Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero passed away on Sunday July 16, 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," Roe wrote. "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."

Romero made the zombie genre what it is today by directing the 1968 classic "Night of the Living Dead." He followed that film up with the sequels "Dawn of the Dead," "Day of the Dead," "Land of the Dead," and 2007's "Diary of the Dead."

Despite the recent resurgence of the zombie genre, Romero seemed to have no interest in working on episodes of "The Walking Dead," the Los Angeles Times reports.

"Basically it’s just a soap opera with a zombie occasionally,” he told a British newspaper in 2013. “I always used the zombie as a character for satire or a political criticism, and I find that missing in what's happening now."

Romero reportedly had plans for a new "of the Dead" film that involved zombies racing cars, Gizmodo reports.

The legendary filmmaker is survived by his wife and two children.

WENN contributed to this report.

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