Legendary makeup artist and Pittsburgh native Tom Savini has responded Monday morning after the passing of George A. Romero. Romero was 77 and died Sunday night after a battle with lung cancer.
Savini, who worked very closely with Romero on a number of his films, released the following statement in an email:
“When I did a special effect on a George Romero set….I would make a chirping cricket noise. If George made the same cricket noise back, i knew he loved it, it worked and we could move on, after laughing our asses off. That’s how we communicated…with lots of laughing. When we first met i was auditioning for him and made him laugh. That laugh….that laugh came from the center of the earth. We laughed through almost fifty years and nine movies. I will miss that laugh, and my friend. More than that he was a big teddy bear. You loved hugging him cause he made a noise, a happy loving noise, as he squeezed the breath out of you. I will miss that hug. I will miss everything about him. There is a light in the galaxy that has gone out and can’t be replaced. Normally you would say ‘Ah but we have sweet memories’….in this case those that knew him have a lot more…it’s molecular…it’s a part of us…he is in us…he made so much of what we are.”
Most recently, Savini and Romero were working together at Douglas Education Center in Monessen for George A. Romero’s Filmmaking Program.
Savini teaches a Special Make-Up Effects Program at DEC.
Goodbye George A Romero. We laughed through 50 years and 9 films. I will miss him. There is a light that has gone out and can't be replaced. pic.twitter.com/N0MAC1ItVM
— Tom Savini (@THETomSavini) July 16, 2017
Romero started an entirely new film genre with his 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead, which was filmed in and around the Pittsburgh area.
The is the second passing related to the film this year. George Kosana, the actor who played the sheriff in Night of the Living Dead, died in January.