The cinematic world is in mourning after the death of two iconic and greatly respected talents in their respective fields. Director George A. Romero and actor Martin Landau passed away on the weekend of July 14th, aged 77 and 89 respectively.
A pioneer of the zombie apocalypse/horror genre Romero was often labeled alongside Wes Craven (1939-2015) as one of the “Masters of Horror”. His first screenwriting and directorial success came with the 1968 classic “Night of the Living Dead”, a highly influential catalyst for future zombie movies and series. He followed this success with “Dawn of the Dead” in 1978 and “Day of the Dead” in 1985. In later years he continued to work in the horror genre, though branching out from zombie tales with such films as “Creepshow” in 1982 and “The Dark Half” in 1993. His last directorial credit was 2009’s “Survival of the Dead”. Like Craven, George A Romero’s work has inspired countless filmmakers in the horror genre for the uniqueness and brilliant creativity of his works.
Actor Martin Landau enjoyed a career both in film and television for over sixty years. After working as a cartoonist, he quit his post at 22 to pursue an acting career. After studying at the Actors Studio in New York (where he befriended James Dean) he appeared on Broadway before making his first film appearance in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” (1959). He would later find additional fame on the TV screen in the 60’s series “Mission Impossible” as Rollin Hand, a master of disguise. He would continue to appear in various roles both on film and TV but had a highly successful career resurgence in the 80s and 90s. He would nab several Academy Award nominations including for his role in Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” in 1989. He finally won an Oscar as Supporting Actor and widespread acclaim for his portrayal of Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi (widely known as Dracula in the 1931 film) in Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood” (1994). He continued to act until his death, with his last film “The Last Poker Game” released in April.
Before the Cyborgs extend condolences to the families and friends of George A. Romero and Martin Landau, bidding a fond farewell to two hugely influential entertainers. Do you have a favorite Romero film or Landau role? Let us know on social media.