Night of the Living Dead’.. We all remember the opening scene… the man and woman, the graveyard, the shuffling man in the background, always getting closer.. ‘They’re coming to get you Barbera!’. But as the man draws closer something is wrong, he’s not right… and boom! The first zombie from zombie-god George Romero is forever scarred into our memories.
That zombie was played by actor Bill Hinzman who has sadly died aged 75.
Hinzman was working as an assistant cameraman on the 1968 movie, when Romero asked him off-the-cuff to play the zombie – possibly explaining why his hair was just so darn perfect in the scene! By the way, the brother and sister he attacks were played byJudith O’Dea and Russell Streiner fact fans!.
‘Night of the Living Dead’ is a stone-cold classic – a low budget but utterly terrifying film that revolutionized the zombie genre.
Hinzman’s shuffling monster was arguably the first modern zombie we’ve seen onscreen, as the film introduced the idea of zombies as re-animated flesh-eaters, says Yahoo!
Hinzman reportedly died after a long battle with cancer. His daughter Heidi Hinzman told Dread Central that he asked to be cremated because, “he always joked if he got buried he would come back”.
Hinzman also worked with Romero on: ‘There’s Always Vanilla’ and ‘The Crazies’. He also directed ‘The Majorettes’ and cult classic ‘Flesh Eater’.
Simon Pegg tweeted earlier: Sad to hear Bill Hinzman, George Romero’s first zombie in NotLD passed away today. Even zombies die, legends however, do not. RIP Bill.