A horror film pioneer credited with launching the zombie film genre in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead, director George Romero died Sunday at age 77, Variety has confirmed.
A statement from Chris Roe, Romero's manager, said the director died listening to the core of The Quiet Man, on of his favorite films, with his wife, Suzanne, and daughter, Tina, by his side. Roe said Romero died after battling lung cancer.
Most if not all of Romero's films were low budget horror movies, many of which were shot in his natire Pittsburgh using local actors.
Shot on a budget of $100,000 in 1968, Romero's campy, black-and-white Night of the Living Dead has become a cult classic and an inspiration for horror film directors. It has grossed around $50 million worldwide, according to the Internet Movie Database.