Nugget of Knowledge: George Romero remembered

The horror legend got his start on public television

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – As you may know, filmmaker George Romero passed away over the weekend. Many have called him the father of the modern horror movie.

How did he get his start?

We might never have had zombie movies and the flesh-eating dead, were it not for Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Romero was fresh out of college and looking to make movies when Rogers gave him his first job, hiring him to make short films. He made a dozen or so for the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood show — films such as “How Lightbulbs Are Made” and “Mr. Rogers Gets a Tonsillectomy.”

Romero said he shot his first really big production in a working hospital and called it the scariest thing he’s ever done. He then went on to make horror films, like Night of the Living Dead, which was filmed in black and white in western Pennsylvania.

Romero said Rogers loved his zombie movies and was a huge supporter.

But, when Romero asked to borrow one of the cast members from Neighborhood to play Barbara in Night of the Living Dead, Rogers said no, because he wanted his cast to remain pure.

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