It is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of our friend George A. Romero. He was one of the nicest, and kindest, men that we have ever met; an amazingly generous person who was always happy to speak to any member of the Zombie Research Society despite his incredibly busy schedule. As a founding member of our Advisory Board, we know that his legacy as a visionary director, filmmaker, and “Godfather of the Dead” will live on forever… but today we want to honor the passing of our friend.
As the Editor in Chief of the Zombie Research Society, I’ve had the honor of meeting and interviewing Mr. Romero on a number of occasions. He was always cordial and friendly; but I will never forget our last meeting in Dallas, Texas at the annual Texas Frightmare Weekend.
After an incredibly long and exhausting day of signing memorabilia for his loyal fans, he still seemed genuinely happy to see me again. In lieu of our usual routine, he invited my team to the hotel bar for a private interview. Obviously, I was ecstatic… but tried to play it cool.
We walked through the convention lobby together making small talk, and shared an elevator to the main floor. Mr. Romero was incredibly courteous and friendly the entire trip; eventually we took a seat together on the outside patio near a pristine blue pool in the sweltering Texas heat. It was a small meeting; there were just a few of us, but it was the first time that I had the honor of meeting his beautiful wife Suzanne.
Apparently, George had received a gift of cigars from one of his fans that she had tried, unsuccessfully, to keep from him. We had no idea at the time that he was battling lung cancer. Of course once Suzanne had left his side, George immediately lit up, ordered a glass of whiskey, and really let loose.
We discussed his upcoming projects, the difficulty of financing his zombie films, and the unreliability of the Internet Movie Database! There were brief insights into his view of modern zombie cinema, the recently announced restoration of Night of the Living Dead led by noted film historian Martin Scorsese, and the unauthorized work of his son Cameron.
We haven’t published the complete, unedited audio of that interview… but today, we’ll post it below. It was brief, but we continued to speak at length after the interview. You can hear that Romero mentioned his tremors as a result of drinking; comparing them to Katherine Hepburn. Unfortunately, I had no idea how serious that observation was at the time.
And, I’m sorry to say, we never had the opportunity to provide Mr. Romero with the new Zombie Research Society blazer that he requested during our time together. It was my intention to present him with that gift at our next meeting. But today I learned that meeting will never happen, and it’s one of my greatest regrets… as he had requested it previously.
After the interview I had the opportunity to sit alone with his wife Suzanne. We only spoke briefly, off the record. But all of us at the Zombie Research Society wish her, and her family, the best. Our prayers are with them as they cope with the passing of a wonderful husband, father, and friend… not only to zombie fiends around the world, but to everyone privileged enough to meet this wonderful, kind, and amazing man: RIP – George A. Romero.
Listen to our last, complete, and unedited interview with George A. Romero below: