Night of the Living Dead actor Bill Hinzman dies

Bill Hinzman Hinzman had a loyal fanbase

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Bill Hinzman, star of cult zombie movie Night of the Living Dead, has died at the age of 75.

His big break came when he was working as an assistant cameraman on the film and director George Romero asked him to play a zombie in the opening sequence.

The actor died of cancer at his home in Pennsylvania on Sunday, his daughter Heidi Hinzman said.

She added that her father had asked to be cremated. "He always joked if he got buried he would come back," she said.

Fans called Hinzman "number one zombie" said producer Russ Streiner, who starred in a fight scene opposite Hinzman in Night of the Living Dead.

He also described how the actor had come to be cast in his famous role.

"We'd like to tell the story that it was a hard audition session but Bill was there and old enough and thin enough and he had an old suit," he said.

At the start of the 1968 movie, Hinzman is seen appearing at a Pennsylvania cemetery and attacking two young siblings by knocking the man's head against a tombstone and chasing his sister.

Hinzman went on to direct and star in the 1980s horror films The Majorettes and Flesheater.

A post on horror fan site Dreadcentral said: "We've lost another icon of the industry and, more importantly, one of the nicest and most genuine people we've ever had the chance of knowing."

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