'Night of the Living Dead' Actor Bill Hinzman Dies

Bill Hinzman

He played a zombie in director George Romero's black-and-white film.

Night of the Living Dead actor Bill Hinzman has died of cancer at the age of 75, Reuters reports.

Hinzman's daughter Heidi said that the actor passed away Sunday evening at his Darlington, Pa. home.

The actor played a big role as a zombie in the 1968 black-and-white film Night of the Living Dead, directed by George Romero and made for a low budget.

The way Hinzman got the role was a story in itself: He worked as an assistant cameraman on the film when the director cast him for the opening sequence, which sees Hinzman in a cemetery attacking two young siblings by hitting the man's head on a tombstone and chasing after the woman into a farmhouse.

Fans later called him the "No. 1 zombie," Dead producer Russ Streiner, who also appeared in the same scene with Hinzman as a guy named Johnny, recalled.

Hinzman's career moved on from Dead. He later starred and directed in The Majorettes and FleshEater during the 1980s.