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George A. Romero
George A. Romero
Birth name: George Andrew Romero
Aliases: George Romero; Grandfather of the Zombies
Gender: Male
Medium(s): Film; Television
Roles: Producer; Director; Writer; Editor; Cinematographer; Actor
Date of birth: February 4th, 1940
Place of birth: New York City, New York
Date of death: July 16th, 2017
Place of death: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Notable works: Night of the Living Dead
Tales from the Darkside
1st Horror: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

George Andrew Romero is an American horror film producer, director and writer and is considered an icon of the genre. He is best known for revolutionizing the zombie sub-genre in his perennial 1968 film Night of the Living Dead and it's subsequent sequels. Romero's efforts turned zombie fandom into a cottage industry and his films have inspired legions of imitators in film, television, novels and comics.

Early life Edit

He was born George Andrew Romero in New York City, New York on February 4th, 1940. His father was a Castilian Spanish commercial artist and his mother was of Lithuanian ancestry. As a youth, Romero attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and graduated in 1960. He turned his eye towards film and began shooting short movies, industrial films and television commercials. In the late 1960s, Romero and a group of friends which included John Russo and Russell Streiner decided to abandon their work on industrial films, in the hopes of exploring larger and more satisfying film projects. Romero, harboring a "thirst for the bizarre", was inspired to venture into the horror genre after filming a tonsilectomy sequence for an episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Night of the Living Dead Edit

George Romero 002

George Romero

The evolution of what would become Night of the Living Dead began shortly after Romero abandoned doing industrial films in search of something meatier he could sink his teeth into. Along with his friends John Russo and Russell Streiner, he began developing the concepts that would become Night of the Living Dead.

Romero was inspired by the works of novelsit Richard Matheson, specifically, his 1954 novel I am Legend, which revolved around one man's struggle to survive in a dystopic world overrun by vampire-like infected ghouls. Romero admitted to drawing the bulk of his ideas from the novel, but wanted to present an environment that showed the early stages of an undead apocalypse. To distinguish his story from Matheson's work, Romero opted to replace the vampire antagonists with zombies (or ghouls as Romero referred to them). Collaborating with Russo and Streiner, he began putting together a script entitled Night of the Flesh Eaters.

He pitched the film project to Hardman Associates, Inc. in Pittsburgh. President Karl Hardman and vice-president Marilyn Eastman joined with Romero's group to form the independent Image Ten Productions. The initial budget was $6,000 with the ten members of the production company investing $600 each for a share of the profits. When it was found that another $6,000 was required another ten investors were found, but this was also soon found to be inadequate. Image Ten eventually raised approximately $114,000 for the budget. [1]

Filming on Night of the Flesh Eaters began in June of 1967. To limit production costs, Image Ten used rural Evans City, just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to shoot their film. Most of the casting for the film was comprised of the Image Ten staff with Karl Hardman playing the role of Harry Cooper and Marilyn Eastman playing his wife Helen. Russell Streiner had the brief, but memorable role of Johnny, while John Russo donned the face makeup of one of the zombie extras. To fill out the rest of the roles, George Romero cast a stage actor named Duane L. Jones as the male lead Ben. The character was originally written as an uneducated truck driver, but Jones was reticent about playing a part, which he felt was demeaning, so Romero altered the script to match Jones' sensibilities. Karl Hardman's eleven-year-old daughter Kyra Schon played the part of his character's daughter, Karen Cooper. The role of Tom was given to a local man named Keith Wayne and the part of Judy was played by Karl and Marilyn's receptionist Judith Ridley. Zombies and posse members were made up from local extras as well as people that Romero knew from his commercial film days.

When it came time to find a distributor for the film, there were few companies willing to deal with the finished project as-is. All of them made requests for Romero to delete particularly visceral scenes from the movie, something Romero was unwilling to do. Finally, they submitted the film to the Walter Reade Organization, who agreed to distribute the film provided that Image Ten changed the title from Night of the Flesh Eaters to Night of the Living Dead. As it turned out, Walter Reade neglected to place a copyright indication on the prints even though Image Ten displayed the copyright notice on the title frames of the film when it was still called Night of the Flesh Eaters. Walter Reade removed the copyright statement under the new title and as such, Image Ten did not gain copyright ownership over their intellectual property. Because of this oversight, whether deliberate or accidental, Night of the Living Dead passed into the public domain. [2]

George Romero passed away in Toronto, Canada on July 16th, 2017 at the age of 77. [3]

Body of work Edit

Film Edit

Film Year Role
Night of the Living Dead 1968 Director; Director; Cinematographer; Editor; Actor
Season of the Witch 1972 Director; Writer; Editor; Cinematographer
The Crazies 1973 Director; Writer; Editor; Actor
Martin 1977 Director; Writer; Editor; Actor
Dawn of the Dead 1978 Director; Writer; Editor Actor
Creepshow 1982 Director; Editor [4]
Day of the Dead 1985 Director; Writer; Writer
Creepshow 2 1987 Writer
Monkey Shines 1988 Director; Writer
Two Evil Eyes 1990 Co-director; Writer [5]
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie 1990 Writer [6]
Silence of the Lambs 1991 Actor
The Dark Half 1993 Director; Writer
Brusier 2000 Director; Writer
Land of the Dead 2005 Director; Writer; Actor
Diary of the Dead 2007 Director; Writer; Actor
Dead Eyes Open 2008 Actor
Survival of the Dead 2009 Director; Writer

Television Edit

Series Episode Airdate Role
Tales from the Darkside Trick or Treat October 29th, 1983 Executive producer; Writer
Tales from the Darkside The New Man September 30th, 1984 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside I'll Give You a Million October 7th, 1984 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Pain Killer October 14th, 1984 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Odds October 21st, 1984 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Mookie and Pookie November 4th, 1984 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Slippage November 11th, 1984 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Inside the Closet November 18th, 1984 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Word Processor of the Gods November 25th, 1984 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside A Case of the Stubborns December 2nd, 1984 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Djinn, No Chaser January 13th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside All a Clone by the Telephone January 20th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside In the Cards January 27th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Anniversary Dinner February 3rd, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Tales from the Darkside: Snip, Snip February 10th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Answer Me February 17th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Tear Collector February 24th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Madness Room May 5th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside If the Shoes Fit... May 12th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Levitation May 19th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside It All Comes Out in the Wash May 26th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Bigalow's Last Smoke June 9th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Grandma's Last Wish June 16th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The False Prophet August 4th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Impressionist September 26th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Lifebomb October 6th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Ring Around the Redhead October 13th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Parlour Floor Front October 20th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Halloween Candy October 27th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Satanic Piano November 3rd, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Devil's Advocate November 10th, 1985 Executive producer; Writer
Tales from the Darkside Distant Signals November 17th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Trouble With Mary Jane November 24th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Ursa Minor December 1st, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Effect and Cause December 8th, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Monsters in My Room December 22nd, 1985 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Comet Watch January 12th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Dream Girl January 19th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside A New Lease on Life January 26th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Printer's Devil February 2nd, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Shrine February 9th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Old Soft Shoe February 16th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Last Car February 23rd, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside A Choice of Dreams May 4th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Strange Love May 11th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Unhappy Medium May 18th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Fear of Floating May 25th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Casavin Curse July 13th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Circus September 28th, 1986 Executive producer; Writer
Tales from the Darkside I Can't Help Saying Goodbye October 5th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Bitterest Pill October 12th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Florence Bravo October 19th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Greezenstacks October 26th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Black Widows November 2nd, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Heretic November 9th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside A Serpent's Tooth November 16th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Baker's Dozen November 23rd, 1986 Executive producer; Writer
Tales from the Darkside Deliver Us from Goodness November 30th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Seasons of Belief December 29th, 1986 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Miss May Dusa January 18th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Milkman Cometh January 25th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside My Ghostwriter - The Vampire February 1st, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside My Own Place February 18th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Red Leader February 15th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Everybody Needs a Little Love February 22nd, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Auld Acquaintances March 1st, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Social Climber March 8th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Swap May 3rd, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Let the Games Begin May 10th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Enormous Radio May 17th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Beetles September 27th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Mary, Mary October 4th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Spirit Photographer October 11th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Moth October 18th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside No Strings October 25th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Grave Robber November 1st, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Yattering and Jack November 8th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Seymouriama November 15th, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Sorry, Right Number November 22nd, 1987 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Payment Overdue February 14th, 1988 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Love Hungry February 21st, 1988 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Deal February 28th, 1988 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Apprentice May 1st, 1988 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside The Cutty Black Sow May 8th, 1988 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Do Not Open This Box May 15th, 1988 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Family Reunion May 22nd, 1988 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Going Native June 19th, 1988 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Hush July 10th, 1988 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Barter July 17th, 1988 Executive producer
Tales from the Darkside Basher Malone July 24th, 1988 Executive producer

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Was inspired to get into the horror genre after filming a segment for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. [7]

External Links Edit

References Edit



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