An actor who helped create the modern era of Hollywood zombies with his portrayal of one of the creatures in the seminal zombie movie “Night of the Living Dead” has died, E! Online reports.
Bill Hinzman, 75, died of cancer Sunday night at his home in Pennsylvania, according to media reports.
The E! story notes: “Hinzman was revered by horror aficionados for his memorable turn in George A. Romero’s touchstone horror flick, in which he played the first zombie audiences see during the film’s opening moments. In the scene, Hinzman’s undead stalker attacks two siblings at a graveyard, killing one and chasing the other.”
Hinzman’s daughter, Heidi Hinzman, reported that her father asked to be cremated, saying, "He always joked if he got buried he would come back."
Hinzman reportedly joined the 1968 production of “Night of the Living Dead” as an assistant cameraman before landing the role as a zombie. In a 2010 interview he said, “I was in the movie because I was tall and skinny and had an old suit!"
The report adds: “After ‘Night of the Living Dead,’ Hinzman acted in over a dozen films, many of them horror-themed. He also wrote and directed two horror flicks in the late ’80s, ‘The Majorettes’ and ‘FleshEater.’”